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Another bit of jargon you may encounter on your way to transfer day includes the terms “mock cycle” and “dropped cycle.” Both are IVF terms used when a surrogate takes medications as directed but does not transfer an embryo at the end of the cycle. Here’s a look at what each term means and how they differ.


A mock cycle is when a doctor puts a surrogate on full or partial medicines and monitors her as if she was planning to transfer with the clear intent that she will not transfer an embryo. This can be ordered for a number of reasons with the most common being that the doctor wants to observe how the surrogate’s body responds to a certain medication. 

An IVF mock cycle allows the doctor to ensure that the surrogate's body, most specifically the endometrium lining, is capable of reaching levels that will support pregnancy and make implantation likely—without the cost of preparing an egg that could potentially be lost to unfavorable conditions. At the conclusion of the mock cycle, medicines or dosages may be changed or fine-tuned in order to create optimum results in the real cycle.

You can learn more about embryo transfer preparation on our Surrogacy Process page. 


A dropped cycle is when a surrogate is taking all prescribed IVF medications with the intent of transferring an embryo at the end of the med-cycle, but the transfer is canceled. This can be ordered because of many factors, including:.

  • The egg donor or intended mother’s response to medicines

  • A mistake in properly following protocol

  • The quality of the eggs retrieved

  • Having eggs lost to the thawing process 

However, a surrogate with a thin lining can also cause a transfer to be canceled or “dropped.” If you experience a dropped cycle in your journey, you will most likely consult with your IVF doctor, make changes to the medical plan and try again in the next month.

Growing Generations is here to support surrogates throughout the process. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a surrogate, you can fill out an application or contact us online for questions or more information.

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