Deciding to move from infertility to surrogacy is a big decision and understanding all the options you have is the best way to make the right decision.
There are different types of surrogacy, but gestational surrogacy is the most common form of surrogacy nowadays. In gestational surrogacy, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is used to create an embryo, which is afterwards transferred to the surrogate.
What Is IVF?
This is an assisted reproductive technology that manually fertilizes an egg with sperm in a laboratory dish and then involves transferring the embryo to the mother (or gestational surrogate / carrier). With this kind of fertilization process, the gestational carrier does not have any genetic connection to the child.
The success of the process will differ. There are those that are successful and the pregnancy is carried to full term. Others are not so lucky. The age of the egg donor will affect the success of the process.
Why Is IVF Used and by Who?
The In Vitro Fertilization is not for everyone. There are those who will not be eligible for this process of fertilization and they may be required to pursue a surrogacy process.
So, who can use the process?
- Women who have had their uterus removed but they still have ovaries
- Women whose fallopian tubes have been removed
- Women with ovulation disorders. If you don’t ovulate, it is hard to get pregnant
- If you have premature ovarian failure
- People with a genetic disorder
- Ladies with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Males with a low sperm count and sperm motility
How Is the Process Performed?
- The first thing that is done is the screening of the surrogate to see if she has any conditions that may affect the fetus should the process be successful
- A consent form is signed by the three parties. All the details related to the process are written down and signed.
- The intended mother (or the egg donor) is placed on fertility medications to stimulate the production of the egg. There are multiple eggs that will be retrieved because some of the eggs may not develop well for fertilization.
- The eggs will be retrieved through a surgical procedure
- The intended parents will also be asked to provide a sample sperm (a sperm donor can be used too) which will be used to fertilize the eggs.
- The eggs are fertilized using a lab dish.
- The embryo is then transferred to the gestational carrier after 3 or 5 days following the IVF process. Before the transfer, a Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) can be done. Also, it´s important to think about how many embryos will be transferred.
- If the process is successful, the pregnancy will be carried for a full tern.
Deciding to embark on a surrogacy journey after infertility is not an easy decision that you should make only after you have exhaustively investigated the surrogacy process and the medical procedures involved.