Surrogacy Terms


A protein found in the blood that is produced in response to foreign substances (e.g. bacteria or viruses) invading the body. Antibodies protect the body from disease by binding to these organisms and destroying them.

APGAR score

The APGAR score is a measurement of a newborn’s response to birth and life outside the womb. Ratings are based on the following factors: Appearance (color); Pulse, Grimace (reflex), Activity and Respiration. A high score is 10 and the low end is 1.

Artificial insemination

Is placing sperm into the female reproductive tract.

Basal body temperature

A woman’s base body temperature, measured at the same time each day, upon first waking up in the morning, before getting out of bed. Used in fertility charting.

Beta hCG test

A blood test used to detect very early pregnancy and evaluate development.

Biochemical pregnancy

When the patient’s pregnancy test is positive but no pregnancy is visible on ultrasound scan.


The removal of a piece of tissue for microscopic examination.

Blastocyst transfer

The transfer of one or more embryos at the blastocyst stage into the uterine cavity.


“Beats per minute,” referring to the fetal heart. A normal fetal heart rate ranges from 120 to 160 BPM. There is no correlation between fetal heart rate and the baby’s gender, despite common myths.

Cesarean Section Delivery

Also known as a “c-section”; the delivery of a baby via an abdominal surgical incision. Most common is a transverse (or “bikini”) incision that is performed along the top of the pubic hairline. Vertical (“classical”) incisions are less common but may be required in certain circumstances.

Chemical pregnancy

Pregnancy documented by a blood or urine test that shows a rise in the level of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone without the presence of a fetus.

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

A procedure that involves taking a biopsy from the placenta to test the fetus for genetic abnormalities. It is usually carried out under ultrasound scan at about eleven weeks of pregnancy. The placenta has the same genetic make-up as the baby. There is a 2-3% risk of the procedure causing a miscarriage.

Clinical Pregnancy

A pregnancy confirmed by increasing levels of hCG and the presence of a gestational sac detected by ultrasound scan but no fetus is present.

Clomiphene (clomid)

A fertility drug (anti estrogen tablet) used to stimulate ovulation.

D & C

Dilatation and Curettage. It is the dilatation of the cervical canal followed by the scrapping of the uterine lining.

Egg collection/retrieval

The procedure by which eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries.

Egg Donor

A woman who donates her eggs.

Egg Recipient

A woman who receives embryos created with donor eggs.


A fertilized egg up to eight weeks of development.

Embryo transfer

The replacement of one or more embryos into the uterine cavity.


The term used for an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth.


A reproductive cell, either a sperm or an egg.

Gestational Surrogate

A woman who carries a baby that is not biologically related to her for a person or couple. Pregnancy is achieved via In Vitro Fertilization, whereby embryos created from egg s of the “Intended Mother” or an egg donor and the sperm of the “Intended Father” or sperm donor.

Gestation Period

The period of development of the embryo/fetus from the time of conception until birth.

Intended Parents

A couple who choose to have a baby with the assistance of an egg donor and/or surrogate mother.


In Vitro Fertilization. A procedure that involves removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman’s (or surrogate’s) uterus through the cervix.

Male factor

Deficiencies in sperm quantity, function, or motility (ability to move) that make it difficult for a sperm to fertilize an egg under normal conditions.

Natural childbirth

Generally refers to childbirth without pain relief (anesthesia or analgesia); may alternatively be used to indicate a vaginal delivery rather than a cesarean birth.

Surrogate Mother

A woman who bears a child for another person or couple. Pregnancy is achieved either through artificial insemination (Traditional Surrogacy) or by carrying until birth another woman’s implanted fertilized egg (Gestational Surrogacy).


Three separate terms of pregnancy, each lasting approximately three months.

Twins, identical

Identical (monozygotic) twins are formed when a single egg (ovum), fertilized by a single sperm, divides (often after implantation in the uterus).

Twins, fraternal

Fraternal (dizygotic) twins are the result when two different eggs (ova) are fertilized by two different sperm.

Ultrasound scans

A technique used for visualizing internal organs, assessing their sizes and shapes by using high-frequency sound waves.

Umbilical cord

The lifeline for your baby, it is the connection between the fetus at its abdomen and the placenta, giving passage to the umbilical blood vessels. The placenta transports oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to the baby. There are normally three vessels in the umbilical cord, two arteries and one vein.

Information published on The Rainbow Babies website is not a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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