Mock Cycle vs. Dropped Cycle

ivfAnother 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 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.

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: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel 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.