Everything You Need to Know About Using a Surrogate

With many infertility cases, a couple will come into our fertility clinic, and the woman will assume she needs a surrogate because she’s having such difficulty getting pregnant. However, that is rarely the case since there are very few circumstances that affect the uterus enough to prevent a woman from carrying a baby—and even then, most of those issues can be surgically corrected.

Because of this, surrogacy is not a very common fertility option. Typically, it’s a solution for women who cannot carry a pregnancy because it would kill them, or who don’t have a uterus and physically can’t carry a pregnancy. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we correct infertility issues and do whatever necessary to help you have a healthy baby. However, because surrogacy is occasionally the only option, here is everything you need to know about the process and procedure.

Understanding When a Surrogate is Necessary 

Under ideal conditions, the patient would carry the baby, but sometimes there are medical conditions that prevent this from happening. These are some examples of rare conditions and situations it would not be advisable or possible for a patient to carry a pregnancy, and a surrogate would be necessary.

  • No Uterus: It’s not uncommon for a young woman to have a hysterectomy because of a medical reason. In those situations, we can use her eggs, fertilize those eggs with her partner’s sperm, and find a surrogate to carry the baby for them.
  • End Stage Renal Disease: A serious illness like renal disease would prevent a woman from carrying the baby because we would be worried about her surviving the pregnancy.
  • End Stage Heart Disease: This would be another situation where it would possibly be seriously dangerous for the mother to carry the baby herself. Her heart may not be strong enough to support her and a growing baby, and we would be concerned with her chances of surviving until and through delivery.

Choosing a Surrogate

Surrogacy is a more involved process than donating eggs; for that reason, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing someone to carry the baby. It’s very important when you choose your surrogate that they are motivated to be as healthy as possible during the pregnancy.

Asking Someone You Know

The best option would be asking a family member—or someone you know and trust—to carry your baby. Preferably, the woman you ask would have children of her own already. This would indicate that she does well with pregnancy and would be able to carry the baby to full term. And, if she already has her own children, it would be less likely that she will change her mind at the end of nine months and want to keep and raise the baby herself. Whether it’s your sister, cousin, best friend, or someone else who cares deeply about your family, it’s a great situation because you can still be close to the pregnancy, and they can know they’re giving someone they love the gift of a family.

Using a Surrogacy Agency

When a close friend or family member is not an option, a surrogacy agency can be consulted. At agencies, the surrogate is screened for their health, previous pregnancy history, and lifestyle choices to make sure they would be able to carry a healthy baby. One downside to this route is the cost; it can be very expensive to compensate someone adequately for carrying the baby for nine months.

Regardless of the how you find your surrogate, you want to put yourself in a situation where you can avoid any legal battles regarding custody.

How AZCREI Can Help 

When you come into our clinic, our only focus is helping you have a baby. If you have to start your family by using a surrogate, our team is here to guide you through that entire journey. We screen your surrogate to make sure she’s healthy, and then prepare her for pregnancy. We also manage the entire fertilization and implantation processes. Our role is to make it as easy as possible for you and your surrogate to go through the process and achieve a pregnancy. Once the surrogate is pregnant, we follow her through the first trimester, and if things are going well, we’ll refer her to an OB/GYN for care and delivery.

Surrogacy can be a wonderful option for couples to finally have a baby when other options have failed. To make an appointment and learn if a surrogate can help you, visit Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility online or call us at 520-326-0001.

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