Surrogacy is the first and best option for some people. But most come to surrogacy through attempts at in vitro fertilization (IVF) and agonizing decisions over when to stop IVF and consider a gestational surrogate.
When you reach that crossroad, Fangyin Meng, MD, PhD, offers all the information and support you need to make the best decision. In most cases, you will discover that gestational surrogacy offers an exceptional way to build your family. Here are the top three reasons you may need surrogacy.
Medical conditions rule out pregnancy
You may have one of many possible medical challenges that make it impossible to carry a baby. Some women have a physical problem with their uterus such as uterine scarring, extensive fibroids, or adenomyosis (when the uterine lining grows into the wall of the uterus). As a result, their uterus can’t support a full-term pregnancy.
Chronic health conditions that aren’t related to your uterus also factor into your ability to have a baby. A wide range of medical conditions pose a danger to the health of the mother and/or baby during pregnancy. For example, heart disease, cancer, or an autoimmune disease may make it too risky to get pregnant.
After learning you have a medical condition that prevents you from having a baby, you may need to take some time to grieve the loss. But when you’re ready to move forward, you have options to consider and one of the best may be gestational surrogacy.
Many couples find that gestational surrogacy is a great option because their surrogate doesn’t donate an egg. If you have viable eggs, you use your own. Otherwise, you choose a donor. And if you have a partner with healthy sperm, you can share a complete biological connection with the baby.
Recurrent implantation failure
IVF encompasses several steps collectively called an IVF cycle. We begin by stimulating eggs to mature, retrieving the eggs, and combining them with sperm in our advanced IVF lab. Several days later, we use a specialized catheter to implant the embryos in your uterus. Then the embryo and uterine lining interact in a way that lets the embryo safely implant and grow.
Though we carefully plan every step of IVF, including screening for and treating potential problems, implantation isn’t always successful. If you don’t become pregnant, we review the procedure, talk about the reasons it didn’t work, offer additional treatment if needed, and then you can go through another IVF cycle.
Recurrent implantation failure occurs when we transfer high-quality embryos over the course of at least three IVF cycles. By that time, we have taken many steps to improve your chance of success, from surgery to treat a uterine problem to advanced techniques such as preimplantation genetic testing to ensure we have healthy embryos.
Some women have reason to try another IVF cycle beyond their third attempt. However, ongoing IVF may not be a good choice for everyone. If you decide it’s time to stop IVF, you don’t need to give up because surrogacy gives you another chance.
LGBTQ and single-parent family building
Surrogacy is an exceptional option for same-sex couples and single parents who want a biological child. The procedure is the same as IVF, with you contributing eggs or sperm and using a donor for the other. After we combine eggs and sperm in the lab, your surrogate carries your baby.
If you have any questions about infertility or surrogacy, don’t wait to talk with Fangyin Meng, MD, PhD. Call or request an appointment online today.