When a woman has decided on becoming a surrogate, it’s generally all systems go. By the time she even makes the call to a surrogacy agency, she’s already had a lengthy journey that brought her there. It’s common for these women to have infertility to have touched their lives in some way, be it a friend or close relative who spurred their outpouring of compassion, and they’ve probably already talked it over with their family and significant other too. Check, check, and double check. It would seem that at this point, it’s only a matter of finding the right intended parents to partner up with, but even then, there are exams, meetings, contacts, and more, all before the actual “work” of becoming a surrogate is started. So, finding out if you’re pregnant is a monumental moment that doesn’t actually come until at least a couple months into the process. You don’t want to wait to find out if you’re pregnant though… you want to know now! Here are your options.
1. Blood Test
If you haven’t been through the process before, you may be surprised to learn that you can’t find out right away whether you’re pregnant or not. Doctors usually want to have a proper blood test done ten days after the embryo transfer. Yes, you have to wait. And then you have to wait some more. However, the blood test is by far the most accurate and monitoring the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels will not only indicate whether you’re pregnant, but that the pregnancy is viable.
2. Urine Tests
A lot of women worry that standard drugstore urine tests will provide a false-positive because of the hormones given during the surrogacy process. This is generally incorrect. Pregnancy tests measure hCG, which is not supplemented during IVF. Today’s pregnancy tests are very sensitive and most say they can pick up hCG only a week into a pregnancy. However, it’s not uncommon for a woman to get a positive result after just five days. If you go this route, just remember that every woman’s body is different and measurable levels of hCG may not be detected at home at all, even in a healthy pregnancy. Equally, the detection of hCG doesn’t necessarily signal that the pregnancy is viable, so it’s always best to defer to the doctor to confirm a pregnancy and ensure everything is progressing normally.
Actual testing aside, almost one-third of women report feeling nauseous during what’s normally considered the fourth week of pregnancy. This includes the time all the way back to the start of their last period, so it coincides with your second week after the transfer, or the week you’ll go in for blood testing. If the embryo implants and your hormones kick in, they just might kick up some nausea as well.
Week four (your second week after transfer again) is also the time many women start to feel first trimester fatigue. If you’re resting well otherwise, but still feel like taking an afternoon nap, it could be a sign that you’re pregnant.
5. Frequent Urination
During the same week, the need to use the restroom a lot may also begin. Unlike the frequent urination associated with the latter part of a pregnancy, which is caused by pressure on your bladder, this is caused by a surge in hormones.
Are You Considering Becoming a Surrogate?
At SPS, we help women interested in becoming a surrogate through the entire process, from matching them with intended parents, to overseeing contracts and making sure medical needs are seen to, and more. Take a moment to review our process, and let us know if you have questions or are ready to move forward.