Along for the Ride: Bleeding in Pregnancy

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Along for the Ride: A Real Time Surrogacy Experience 

In the surrogacy world…. well, heck… in the IVF world in general, blood is not at all uncommon. I’ve read that up to 70% of pregnancies achieved through IVF will have some level of bleeding during the pregnancy. It can be caused by any one of a hundred things. Anything from inconsistent hormone levels, disturbance of the cervix (often from vaginal hormone therapies needed to sustain the early pregnancy), or even an internal- and often harmless- hemorrhage can cause bleeding.

But yes, sometimes bleeding does mean miscarriage.

Typically we only become concerned if the blood is bright red, if there are clots, or if the bleeding becomes heavy and is accompanied by cramps.

My head is so often buried in IVF research for work that I tend to think about these things academically as opposed to emotionally. But It still knocked the breath right out of my chest when, last night, I had some bleeding.I had no cramps, so the bright red blood was… surprising. Luckily, because I have my head buried in IVF research for work, I knew just what my doctor would tell me to do.

Stay calm. Increase fluids. Feet up.

So I emailed the nurse to let her know what was going on, and followed the directives I knew she’d give me first thing in the morning.

I did wind up passing a small clot before the bleeding stopped. But, by morning, the bleed was done and I still felt fine. Even so, the doctor ordered a repeat beta test to make sure my hormone levels and HCG levels were still in the appropriate ranges.

Waiting for the new numbers was stressful. I felt scared, apprehensive, and not at all as prepared for the results of this beta as I was for the one last week.

Back to my computer to await the email from my nurse.


And then there it was.


Just Friday my beta was 383.8! This is a big jump. It is an exciting development, accompanied by a huge sigh of relief.

I am still pregnant… very pregnant in deed… and proof that , while bleeding does indeed happen in IVF pregnancies, it doesn’t always mean disaster.


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Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.