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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 terms that are 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 will put a surrogate on full or partial medicines and monitor 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. A mock cycle allows the doctor to ensure that the 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.

A Dropped Cycle is when a surrogate is taking all prescribed 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. Occasionally it will have to do with the egg donor or intended mother’s response to medicines, a mistake in properly following protocol, the quality of the eggs retrieved or having eggs lost to the thawing process. However, a surrogate with a thin lining can also be a cause for a transfer to be canceled, or “dropped.” If you do 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.

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