There is often a lot of confusion and misconceptions around the idea of surrogacy. Many women believe it is the only solution to their fertility issues, but the truth is that it’s a highly specialized treatment method that isn’t as commonly used as they may think.
For certain women, it can be the solution; the best way to decide if it’s right for you is to visit the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility for an evaluation. If you’re looking into surrogacy as a viable option, asking these questions might give you some of the answers you’re looking for.
Will a surrogate be more successful?
When a woman or couple has gone through several failed IVF cycles, they start to think that if someone else were to carry the baby, the pregnancy would be successful. In reality, the age of the woman and the quality of her eggs are what determine a pregnancy’s success; so whether the patient or a surrogate carries the baby, the chances of pregnancy remain the same (assuming those two factors are equal). There are actually very few factors that would prevent a woman from carrying a baby herself, and at AZCREI, we are typically able to correct many of those issues so the woman can get pregnant.
Is a surrogate right for me?
Many women hear about surrogacy, and after failed pregnancy attempts, think it will be the most appropriate treatment for their fertility issues. But it’s only in very rare situations where a surrogate is absolutely necessary:
- When there’s something dramatically wrong with the uterus,
- If a woman no longer has a uterus, or
- When the woman is not physically capable of carrying the baby because of a medical illness that would put her life in danger
Certain medical conditions that would prevent a woman from carrying her own baby are very rare and would have to be very severe. For example, end-stage renal disease or end-stage heart disease would both make carrying a baby extremely dangerous; in both situations, we’d be worried about her surviving the pregnancy.
In other situations, surrogacy is the solution for women how have had their uterus removed but still have their ovaries. Using a surrogate in this situation would still allow her to have a child with her husband.
Where do we find a surrogate?
If surrogacy is the answer for you, the next question becomes, “Who can we use as a surrogate?” This comes down to two options.
Your first option would be to use a family member or someone you know. The surrogate should be someone you know and can trust, who has already had children of her own. You want to make sure the woman is someone who will take care of herself and make health-conscious choices during the pregnancy.
The other avenue would be to hire an anonymous surrogate. These women are already evaluated by a surrogacy agency and deemed capable of carrying a healthy baby to term.
With either situation, the surrogate is tested and screened to make sure they’re healthy enough to carry the baby and wouldn’t have any medical conditions that could possibly be transferred to the baby while in utero.
What are the costs involved?
If a patient chooses a family member as her surrogate, she can save a lot of money, since the family member is volunteering to carry the baby. However, when that’s not the case, the cost of hiring a surrogate is dependent upon price determined by the agency. Unfortunately, it can be very expensive to compensate someone adequately for carrying a baby for nine months.
The good news is that regardless of the cost of a surrogate, we keep the cost of our fertility services affordable. Our team works with you to find the lowest priced medicine and hormones (needed for egg retrieval), and offer payment plans and packages as well.
How does AZCREI help in the process?
At AZCREI, we are by your side through the entire surrogacy process. We’ll help you screen your surrogate if necessary, prepare them for pregnancy, implant the fertilized egg, and then monitor them through the first trimester before they begin visiting their OB-GYN.
We can also advise you in legal issues (such as birth certificate concerns) and offer resources to you once the baby is born. Our role is to make it as easy as possible for our patients to go through the process, achieve a pregnancy, and have a baby.
To get all your surrogacy questions answered, contact AZCREI by calling (520) 326-0001 or visiting us online. We look forward to meeting you and helping you grow your family.