Gestational carriers are special women who would carry pregnancies produced from embryos generated by different parent or parents. The whole process requires attention to many details to be successful.
Selection of Gestational Carrier
A surrogate is commonly a woman younger than 40 years, who delivered her own babies before. Her medical evaluation indicates good health and no contraindication for pregnancy. Her uterus especially the cavity does not have abnormalities. She in a stable social situation and is not a high risk for infectious diseases. the carrier usually deliver in her home state that allows gestational carrier cycles. The carriers are screened for infectious diseases and other preconception labs except genetic screening.
The carrier and the parents are introduced and discuss together the number of embryos to be transferred, the acceptance of fetal reduction and many other issues that concern both sides.
The gestational carrier undergo psychological evaluation and saline sonography to study the uterine cavity. A reproductive lawyer then draft a contract between the two parties.
Who should use a Gestational Carrier?
Parents consider gestational cycles in many cases. In any situation parent or donor egg or sperm can be used
- Single man can reproduce using an egg donor and a gestational carrier
- Two men in a same sex relationship can reproduce using an egg donor and a gestational carrier
- Women with repeated late miscarriages or repeated early preterm deliveries
- Women who do not have a uterus due to congenital abnormality or when the uterus is removed for benign or malignant diseases e.g. endometrial cancer
- Women that cannot or do not want to carry a pregnancy due to a medical condition e.g heart disease, severe kidney disease, breast cancer
Screening of intended parents:
Both male and female partner or donor are screened according to FDA and state guidelines to minimize disease transmission. Parents are also genetically screened.
The Gestational Carrier Cycle
After the initial testing and evaluation, the intended mother or her egg donor undergo ovarian stimulation. Eggs are retrieved and fertilized with male parent or donor sperm. Embryos can be frozen or transferred fresh to a synchronized gestational carrier.
The gestational carrier is treated with estrogen and progesterone to prepare the lining then fresh or thawed embryos are transferred into her uterus. If pregnant she receives regular obstetric care.
At or after the delivery, the reproductive attorney should be responsible for registering the parents on the child’s birth certificate.