a surrogate using a syringe during her IVF surrogacy journey

IVF Surrogacy: How Does IVF And Surrogacy Work Together?


a surrogate using a syringe during her IVF surrogacy journey

Despite its increasing popularity as a method for growing families worldwide, there are still many misconceptions and stereotypes around IVF and surrogacy.

We’re here to dispel the myths about this common form of assisted reproductive technology so you can be fully educated and prepared for your surrogacy journey. We’ll start with the definition of IVF, discuss surrogacy vs. IVF and how they work together, and conclude with some information on success rates.

Not sure where to start your surrogacy journey? Schedule a free consult today with one of our experienced Surrogacy Coordinators to determine if surrogacy is right for you.

the process for how in vitro fertilization (IVF) works

What Is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?

In vitro fertilization is a reproductive process where the egg is fertilized in a lab environment. To start, the intended mother begins taking fertility drugs to stimulate mature egg production in the ovaries. After several months, the eggs are retrieved and combined with the intended father’s or donor’s sperm for fertilization. The resulting embryos can then either be preserved on ice for later use or transferred to the uterus and monitored for a successful pregnancy.

Since it first became available to the public in the early 1980s, medical advancements have improved the IVF process, making it safer, less invasive, and more affordable for families dealing with fertility issues.

IVF Vs. Surrogacy: What’s The Difference?

The key difference between IVF and surrogacy is that one refers to the medical process of creating embryos in a lab (IVF) and the other refers to the carrying of a pregnancy by a woman other than the intended mother (surrogacy). In vitro fertilization and surrogacy are so often interconnected and confused because surrogacy almost always starts with IVF.

The only exception to this is traditional surrogacy, which is where the gestational carrier is also the egg donor and therefore genetically related to the baby she is carrying. Due to the emotional complexity of traditional surrogacy, it is not commonly practiced in most states.

While surrogacy may depend on IVF for the first part of the process, IVF can and often does take place entirely on its own, providing an option for intended mothers who may struggle with infertility but can still carry their own baby.

two intended parents with their surrogate

How Does IVF And Surrogacy Work Together?

While IVF and surrogacy have two distinct meanings, gestational surrogacy could not exist today without IVF. In vitro fertilization allows medical professionals to create embryos for the intended parent(s) in a lab and then transfer them to the surrogate’s uterus when ready.

To achieve a successful pregnancy via surrogacy, the intended parents, medical professionals, and the surrogate must all work in unison. For a complete breakdown of how surrogacy works together with IVF, check out our blog post on the seven-step surrogacy process.

Do Surrogates Use Their Own Eggs?

Given the long and somewhat complicated history of surrogacy, most surrogacies today are of the gestational kind. This means that the surrogates do not use their own eggs and therefore have no genetic relationship to the child they are bearing.

In gestational surrogacy, the eggs either come from the intended mother or from an egg donor and are fertilized in a lab via IVF. This process avoids the complex legal and emotional nature of surrogates using their own eggs, which is referred to as traditional surrogacy.

What Is The Success Rate Of IVF Surrogacy?

The CDC collects data from fertility clinics across the country and reports on success rates for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) services like IVF surrogacy. According to the most recent data available, gestational surrogacy is successful 90% of the time once the pregnancy has been achieved in the surrogate. The success rates for IVF alone are significantly lower and will depend on factors like the age of the intended mother or egg donor, the quality of the eggs and sperm, and the embryo transfer procedure.

Mother With A Surrogate Child

Become A Surrogate At IARC, Or Inquire About Becoming Intended Parents

IVF surrogacy can seem like a long, complex, and emotionally exhausting process, but working with a trusted surrogacy agency will make the process less daunting. Also understanding the pros and cons of surrogacy before you begin can make or break your experience. At IARC, we take a deeply personalized approach to surrogacy to ensure your care is tailored to you, and our team of experts will guide you through each step of the process.

Learn more about our proven surrogacy process at our surrogacy agency, and reach out today to get in touch with someone from our team. Already pregnant via surrogacy? Check out our blog post on surrogacy pregnancy announcement ideas. No matter what stage of the pregnancy journey you are in, we’re here for you with support and resources.