When a woman fails to conceive a baby due to some reasons, she requires the help of another woman, who carries her baby in her uterus through the process called surrogacy. The carrier woman is known as a surrogate and she has to undergo In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) in order to place the fertilized egg into the surrogate's uterus. Before opting for surrogacy in India, infertile couples should know the facts about two primary types of surrogacy,
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate donates her own eggs and is impregnated through the process of artificial insemination known as intrauterine insemination, or IUI with the intended father's sperm. Therefore, the traditional surrogate acts as both the egg donor and as the actual surrogate for the embryo.
Facts about Traditional Surrogacy
1. Sometimes, the intended mother fail to produce mature eggs, that is, ovaries do not produce normal follicles due to ovulatory dysfunction. In such situations, the IUI procedure is followed on surrogate mother. In this procedure, the infertility specialist will transfer sperm that is taken from the biological father and will subsequently transfer that sperm into the surrogate's uterus so that fertilization may take place naturally.
2. A traditional surrogate will undergo insemination at the time of her natural ovulation, occasionally necessitating medication prescribed by her doctor to make sure that she does ovulate.
3. The child will have a genetic link to his father, since the father's sperm was used in creating the baby. There is no genetic link to the intended mother; which is a primary difference between traditional and gestational surrogacy.
4. Therefore, with traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is also the biological mother of the child. This type of surrogacy is typically only used if the biological mother's egg and/or the biological father's sperm are unable to be used.
5. Generally, people over the age of 50 or women who are unable to use their own eggs use traditional surrogacy since the option frees the intended parents from age-related limitations.
It removes the age bar to get pregnant and even allows one of both the parents to be the genetic parent.
In gestational surrogacy, the egg and sperm of the intended parents are used to form an embryo through a process called in vitro fertilization and later it is transferred in surrogate’s uterus to carry it for pregnancy. In most of the cases, it will take between three and five days for the embryos to develop in the laboratory prior to transferring them to the surrogate. Then, once the embryo has successfully been placed into the surrogate's uterus, the surrogate will carry the embryo through the pregnancy term until its birth.
Facts about Gestational Surrogacy
1. With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate's eggs are not used at all. Therefore, the child will not be related to the surrogate biologically.
2. It allows a couple to have a biologically related child by using a surrogate as the carrier for the couple's embryo.
3. The aid of a gestational surrogate is needed when a woman is unable to conceive naturally or through fertility treatments.
4. This option is explored after fertility drugs or in-vitro fertilization have proven unsuccessful, or if either party has irregularities in their reproductive organs that complicate conception.
5. The rate of success when using in vitro fertilization will depend upon several factors such as the age and health of the biological mother who is providing the eggs.
6. The process of gestational surrogacy can take several years including the amount of time to find an adequate surrogate, extraction of viable eggs and sperm can take several weeks from intended parents, preparation of surrogate for pregnancy with a hormone regimen that can take several months, implanting the embryos and additional nine months for the gestational surrogate to carry the baby.
The gestational surrogacy allows the infertile couple to have their biological child, which otherwise is not possible through any other process. The intended parents will have their names in birth certificate and have legal rights on the child. Surrogate would have no legal right on the child and surrogacy cost would be almost same for both the options.
Dr Neeraj Pahlajani