Thanks to modern science, the inability to conceive and bear children naturally is no longer a bar to becoming a parent. Today, many infertility options exist that not only allow you to raise children, but make it possible to raise a child who is genetically your own even if you have been unable to conceive or carry a child to term. Gestational surrogacy is one such option – or, to be more precise, set of options.
What Is Gestational Surrogacy?
In gestational surrogacy, one woman carries a fertilized donor egg or embryo for another woman or couple. It most often involves in vitro fertilization (IVF), which is mixing eggs and sperm outside the uterus, then implanting the fertilized eggs into the uterus, where the embryo will grow and develop into a baby.
Depending on the situation and the reason for seeking help with pregnancy, the doctor may use your eggs or eggs taken from an egg donor. Likewise, the eggs may be inseminated by your partner’s sperm or donated sperm. Those are all decisions that you’ll make with the help of your doctor.
The woman who carries the pregnancy is most often called the surrogate or the surrogate mother. If you choose to become parents through gestational surrogacy, there are many clinics and infertility centers that will work with you to find and choose a surrogate mother you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable.
Who is a Candidate for Gestational Surrogacy?
Doctors may suggest a surrogate for a woman who has had her uterus removed, but whose ovaries are still producing eggs. The procedure uses her eggs and a surrogate mother, and results in a child who is her own genetic child.
It may also be the best infertility option for a woman who has a medical condition that makes pregnancy risky for herself or her child. Through the gift of surrogacy, she will still have the joy of raising a child of her own.
It may also be the option chosen by couples who have tried other infertility options, such as IVF, without success.
What is the Success Rate for Gestational Surrogacy?
The pregnancy rate for IVF with a surrogate mother can vary considerably, with some programs reporting successful deliveries of greater than 50%. There are many variables that can affect the success rate, including the age of the genetic mother.
If you’re interested in exploring gestational surrogacy and other infertility options, your best resource is a clinic or family center that facilitates non-traditional pregnancy options such as surrogacy and IVF. You can have all your questions answered by a trained fertility counselor and decide if it is the right decision for you.