Surrogacy


Surrogacy is defined as an arrangement whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant for the purpose of gestating and giving birth to a child for others to raise. With the advent of current reproductive technologies it is now possible for couples that cannot have a child on their own to utilize the services of a gestational surrogate. A gestational surrogate is a person that carries a pregnancy for another couple.

The couple generate an embryo via the process of IVF but then transfer the embryo into the surrogate. The Surrogate then carries that pregnancy for 9 months. Once the child is born the biological parents (genetic) take their baby home.

Types of Surrogacy:

Diagnosis of PCOS is typically established by an accurate medical history, blood tests and an Ultrasound. The medical history establishes the signs and symptoms described. The blood tests confirm elevated insulin, elevated androgens and the imbalance of the female hormones. The ultrasound confirms that the ovaries are in fact polycystic (many cysts).

There are three types of surrogates:


IVF Surrogacy (gestational carrier)
A woman carries a pregnancy created by the egg and sperm of the genetic couple. The carrier is not genetically related to the child.

Natural Surrogacy (traditional/straight surrogate)
American Reproductive Centers does NOT participate in this type of surrogacy due to California Sate laws. This is just for information purposes. A woman is inseminated with sperm from the male partner's of an infertile couple. The child that results is genetically related to the surrogate and to the male partner but not to the commissioning female partner.

Donor Egg/Gestational Surrogacy:
The surrogate agrees to carry the embryos made from sperm of the intended father and the eggs from a third party donor.

How Surrogacy Works:

Preparation:

Surrogacy can be a very successful method of starting a family. For surrgoacy to work well both the surrogate and the intended parents must be treated simultaneously. Through various methods both the surrogates cycle and the intended mothers cycles are synchronized. This is accomplished by utilizing different types of manipulations, these manipulations are made with the use of different medications, mainly Lupron and birth control pills.

Stimulation:

Once the Surrogate and the Parents are synchronized the process of creating the eggs begins for the parents. During this time the surrogate is being stimulated to create a healthy environment in her uterus. The Parents portion is done through stimulation similar to that of a traditional IVF cycle. Both the surrogate and the parent are monitored via Ultrasound and Hormonal testing. The surrogate's Ultrasound evaluations show the progress of uterus. The Parent's Ultrasound evaluations will monitor follicular development (egg production).

Egg Retrieval:

Once the parent has reached the stage of egg maturity, an egg retrieval procedure is  planned. This procedure is performed usually 30-40 hours after hCG, or ovulation induction is administered. The egg retrieval must be done prior to the patient ovulating on her own. The eggs are retrieved using a needle that is guided by ultrasound. The patient is given light anesthesia.

Embryo Transfer:

The embryo transfer procedure is the procedure that places the embryo(s) in to the Surrogate's uterus (womb).  

Embryo transfer is done by placing the best embryo(s) into a thin plastic catheter; this catheter is then passed through the vagina and cervix into the uterine cavity (womb). Once in the appropriate location inside the uterus the embryos are injected inside. Very often physicians will utilize an ultrasound to visualize the tip of the catheter and ensure its proper placement.

The embryos chosen for transfer are evaluated by the embryologist and physician to determine the best quality embryos. The number of embryos transferred depends on the patient’s age, history, embryo quality, risk assessment, risk tolerance, and other diagnostic and clinical indicators.