Gestational Surrogacy

Surrogacy rewards couples with unmatched gratification, although its associated vocabulary and terminology can be confusing at times. To sort out this confusion we have prepared a detailed list that includes some of the most common terms you’ll come across during your surrogacy journey.

1. Carrier/Surrogate/Surrogate Mother

These terms can be used interchangeably. The definition of a surrogate mother is a woman carrying a child for dependent parents who are unable to do so on their own. Surrogates can be further classified in two types: traditional surrogates and gestational surrogates.

2. Traditional Surrogacy

The surrogate becomes pregnant   through artificial insemination and is genetically related to the baby. Traditional surrogacy was one of the most popular and preferred processes until a decade ago. Today most surrogacies are gestational.

3. Gestational Surrogacy (GS)

The surrogate becomes pregnant through In Virto Fertilization (IVF) and is not genetically related to the baby. Embryos are created using the eggs of an egg donor or the intended mother, and sperm of a sperm donor or the intended father. Physician’s Surrogacy is the leading surrogacy agency that facilitates gestational surrogacy.

4. Egg Donor

A women who donates eggs or oocytes, which are = used for assisted reproduction via IVF.

5. Egg Retrieval

The process by which eggs or oocytes are retrieved from ovaries of an egg donor.

6. Intended Parent(s)

The legal parents of children born through surrogacy. You’ll usually hear terms such as Intended Mother (IM) and Intended Father (IF).

7. Matching

Matching is done during the initial phase of surrogacy and egg donation. The intended parents (IP) view profiles of the surrogate or egg donors. When the IP has chosen a surrogate they would like to work with, the surrogate will be able to talk to them to see if she agrees to work with them. All of this is facilitated by Physician’s Surrogacy.

8. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)

One of two standardized tests that both the egg donor and surrogate may be asked to take. The test is used to determine mental health disorders. The tests ensures that our egg donors and surrogates are committed and dedicated to the journey in helping others achieve the family of their dreams.

9. Carrier Agreement/Surrogacy Contract

A legal contract between Intended Parents and surrogates. These terms can be negotiated by both parties before signing through their legal representation. This contact explains the rights and obligations of both parties.

10. Monitoring Clinic

A fertility clinic that is generally local to the surrogate or egg donor and provides medical treatment, such as ultrasounds and blood work during an egg donation cycle and surrogate pregnancy.

11. Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (OB/GYN)

An obstetrician or OB for short, is a physician who delivers babies. A gynaecologist, GYN for short, is a physician who specializes in treating diseases that are related to female reproductive organs and providing well-women health care primarily on the reproductive organs.

12. Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE)

An Obstetrician or Gynaecologist who specializes in function/dysfunction of the reproductive organs in women.

13. Cycle Schedule

A schedule created by an IVF doctor or coordinator, that lists important appointment dates leading up to embryo transfer.

14. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is the process where fertilization is achieved by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory to create an embryo. IVF is performed by a reproductive endocrinologist.

15. Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

When a frozen embryo (fertilized and frozen egg) is thawed and transferred into a surrogate or intended mother’s uterus.

16. Beta Testing

A type of blood test to help indicate whether a woman is pregnant or not. It is usually performed 10 days after an embryo transfer. Levels of Estradiol, Progesterone, LH, and HCG are measured during this test.

17. Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is a test that can detect any chromosomal abnormalities, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders through the examination of a cell’s amniotic fluid.  This test is usually done between 14 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.

18. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

A radiology procedure used to determine the condition of fallopian tube and uterus.

19. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This test is similar to Amniocentesis. CVS is a diagnostic test that can identify abnormalities and other inherited disorders. This test is usually performed between 10 and 12 weeks of pregnancy to look at cells in the placenta by either inserting a catheter into the uterus from the vagina or by inserting a needle from the belly into the uterus.

20. Blastocyst or “Blast”

An embryo that has developed successfully for 5 to 7 days after fertilization. Blastocyst has 2 distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid (blastocoel cavity). An embryo must reach Blastocyst before being implanted in the uterus.  

21. Pre-Birth Order (PBO)

A court order that must be acquired before the surrogate gives birth. This allows the Intended Parents and the surrogate access to the baby in the hospital.

22. Post-Birth Order

A court order that is acquired after the surrogate has given birth. This removes the surrogates’ name and leaves only the intended parents name on birth certificate.


If you still have any questions related to the surrogacy process, our staff at Physician’s surrogacy would be happy to help you.