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Guide: 15 Assisted Reproductive Technology Terms You Should Know

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

We know when it comes to Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) there are a lot of terms. Here are a few important terms to know for your journey!

1. Beta Testing: A blood test used to help indicate whether a woman is pregnant. This is performed typically 10 days after an embryo transfer. The test measures levels of Estradiol, Progesterone, LH, and HCG (all indicators of pregnancy).

2. Blastocyst or “Blast”: An embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization. An embryo must reach stage of development before it is implanted into the uterus.

3. Carrier Agreement/Surrogacy Contract: Once the Surrogate has been medically cleared, your legal counsel with expertise in third party reproduction will draft this agreement. Both the Intended Parent(s) and Surrogates attorney will review the contract to ensure all parties are protected. Once both parties agree to all the terms, the legal document is signed and notarized.

4. Cycle Schedule: The facilitating IVF Clinic Physician or coordinator creates a timeline/calendar that lists all important appointment dates and medication intake instructions leading up to the embryo transfer.

5. Egg Donor: A woman who donates eggs, or oocytes, for assisted reproduction via IVF.

6. Egg Retrieval: This is the process by which eggs (oocytes) are retrieved from the egg donor’s ovaries.

7. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET): A cycle in which the frozen embryos from a previous fresh IVF or donor egg cycle are thawed and then transferred into the Surrogate’s uterus.

8. Gestational Surrogacy: Gestational Surrogacy or Gestational Carrier is a pregnancy where the Surrogate is genetically unrelated to the baby. The embryos are created using the eggs from the intended mother(s) or an egg donor and sperm from the intended father(s) or a sperm donor.

9. Intended Parent(s): Also known as an (IP) are the Legal parent(s) of the child(ren) born through Surrogacy and/or Egg Donation.

10. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish to create an embryo. This process is performed by a reproductive endocrinologist at an IVF Clinic.

11. Matching: The process where the Surrogate and Intended Parent(s) are paired. The matching process includes a sharing of profiles (Surrogate and IP’s), and a meeting facilitated by a MEA Team Member.

12. Pre-Birth Order (PBO): A court issued order that is acquired before the Surrogate gives birth. This will ensure the parental rights are in place before birth and the delivering hospital knows who should have access to the baby in the hospital.

13. Post-Birth Order: A court issued order that is acquired after the baby is born. This removes the surrogates name and leaves just the intended parent’s names on the newborn’s birth certificate.

14. Reproductive Endocrinologist: An OB/GYN that specializes in function/dysfunction of the reproductive system.

15. Traditional Surrogacy: Pregnancy where the Surrogate becomes pregnant through artificial insemination and is genetically related to the child(ren). This practice is no longer common and most surrogacies today are gestational.

If you want more information on the Intended Parent journey, click here.

If you want more information on the Surrogacy journey, click here.

If you want more information on the Egg Donor journey, click here.

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