Patient Information Leaflet – Surrogacy
What is Surrogacy?
Surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman agrees to conceive and deliver a baby for another couple who becomes the parents of the child. This fertility treatment is also a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
The woman who gets pregnant on behalf of the commissioning parents is referred to as the gestational carrier or the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother carries and cares for the baby during the entire pregnancy period until delivery. As soon as the baby is born, she hands it over to the intended parents.
The child born via surrogacy is the natural and genetic offspring of one or both of her/his parents. This is a major advantage of the surrogacy treatment over adoption. Surrogacy treatment involves a legal agreement between the surrogate mother, the commissioning parents, and Genesis Fertility and Laparoscopy Centre.
Who needs Surrogacy?
Most couples opt for surrogacy in cases when the female partner is unable to conceive and/or complete the pregnancy to term. Fertility experts recommend the surrogacy treatment to couples where it is medically risky for the female partner to conceive and give birth. One essential factor to remember is that either egg or the Sperm should belong to the couple.
Gestational surrogacy is offered to couples when women with either or more of the following issues:
- Genetic absence or malformation of the womb
- Women who have had hysterectomy (removal of uterus)
- Adhesions in the uterine cavity
- Repeated implantation failure.
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Medical problems including diabetes, hypertension, renal disease where carrying a pregnancy can endanger mother’s life
- Women on prescribed medications (for some other medical condition) that are not safe to be consumed during pregnancy
What is the initial assessment?
- We perform a thorough assessment including blood tests, ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy etc. to determine why a person is unable to carry the pregnancy.
- Likewise, we also do blood tests and ultrasound examination on the person selected to be a surrogate to determine if she is healthy and suitable to carry the pregnancy
What is the process of Surrogacy?
- Once the surrogacy need is confirmed, a suitable surrogate is identified
- After assessment and initial screening of the surrogate, a legal contract is arranged between Genesis, surrogate and the commissioning couple
- The surrogate will receive hormones to prepare her for the pregnancy
- During this process, we perform ultrasound scan to determine when she is ready for transferring the commissioning couples’ embryos into her womb.
- After the embryo/s have been transferred, pregnancy test is done around 14-17 days after the transfer.
Are there any side-effects of Surrogacy?
The surrogacy procedure is performed as a part of an IVF cycle. The embryos that are formed when the eggs and sperms from the commissioning parents are combined in a laboratory are transferred to the surrogate mother instead of the intended mother.
The intended mother is prescribed ovulation stimulating medications before the egg retrieval procedure. This may lead to bloating, cramping, headache, breast tenderness, and mood swings. There is small risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) especially is she has polycystic ovaries.
The pregnancy risks are very similar to any other IVF cycle. Numerous studies conducted on the babies born through surrogacy and none has showed any physical or psychological harms have been reported even in the long run.
Surrogacy involves legal procedures between the three parties involved and these may become overwhelming for the intended parents. We at Genesis Fertility and Laparoscopy Centre, make the best of our efforts to ease all complications and provide a hassle-free procedure by offering transparent and clear guidance utmost for the couple seeking surrogacy fertility treatment.
Are there any alternatives to Surrogacy?
In some cases where the issue is with the uterus or the lining, the only alternative is Adoption. Rest of the cases, couple can try further attempts, only after thorough evaluation of reasons behind the failure.