Egg Donor & Surrogate Solutions

Surrogacy Support: Coping with a Failed Transfer

Written By: Hillary Redwine

Transfer day is a day filled with excitement for intended parents and surrogates, followed by anticipation as they await confirmation of a positive pregnancy test. After what has likely been months of meetings, medical appointments and contract negotiations, everyone is anxious to officially start the journey. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?

A failed embryo transfer can feel devastating. It’s a loss for both for both parties, and for the surrogate, the experience is often accompanied by feelings of guilt that she let the intended parents down. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know that it’s not your fault. Transfers can fail for a variety of reasons, and sometimes there is no good explanation as to why it didn’t work.

Here are a few things to consider as you move forward.

It’s not the end of the journey. While discouraging, a failed transfer does not mean it’s the end. The goal of helping the intended parents have a healthy baby hasn’t changed. The reproductive endocrinologist will review the protocol and determine next steps.

What happens next will depend on the clinic. How soon you are able to try again will depend on the fertility clinic. Clinics have different protocols, and each situation is unique. You may be able start right away following your next menstrual cycle or you might have to wait as the doctor reevaluates the medication protocol, orders additional testing, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or discuss any concerns with the physician.

Take time for self-care. It’s important to acknowledge that this is a difficult point in your surrogacy journey and to prioritize self-care during this time. Whether that means spending quality time with your family or on your own, journaling, getting a massage or taking a weekend trip away – the point is to do something that is meaningful and beneficial for you.

Lean on your support network. This includes family and friends who are supportive of your journey, other surrogates who you can connect with via our private Facebook group, and your Egg Donor & Surrogate Solutions coordinator. Our team is committed to guiding and supporting you throughout your journey, and that includes the difficult times as well. Your coordinator will reach out to see how you are doing. Speak openly with her and ask for help if you need it. That’s what we’re here for!

Experienced surrogates may have a particularly difficult time coping. For experienced surrogates who have always had successful transfers, feelings of discouragement and loss may be compounded because you feel like you are the pregnancy “expert.” Give yourself some grace and know there is nothing you could have done differently that would change the outcome.

Stay in contact with the intended parents. Continuing to nurture your relationship with your IPs after a failed transfer is important because you will (in most cases) move forward in the journey together and try again. You may even find that you develop a closer bond with the IPs as you support one another during this time. Be sure to talk with your coordinator if you unsure about how to reach out or need help navigating the relationship with your IPs.

If you need support in coping with a failed transfer, have questions about the surrogacy process or want to learn more about how you can help create a family as a surrogate, please contact our Egg Donor & Surrogate Solutions team at


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