For couples living with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is generally the first choice for building a family. While India is turning into a global destination for surrogacy, a majority of surrogacy services provided in the country are availed by overseas couples.
Conversations about surrogacy in mainstream media, for example, the recent news of celebrities who opted to have a child through a surrogate, has made a positive difference in changing popular perceptions about surrogacy in the country.
In simplest terms, a surrogate is a woman who agrees to carry and deliver a baby for another couple or individual. She may be a family member or a professional surrogate who is paid to provide surrogacy as a service.
When IVF or other fertility treatment is not an option, one can have a child through surrogacy or adoption. A childless couple may consider surrogacy in the following situations:
- When the woman has had a hysterectomy (surgical removal of uterus)
- If she is unable to carry a baby due to health reasons. For example, an obese woman who is over 40 years of age may choose surrogacy over IVF.
- A younger woman with a health disorder that could pose serious risk to the foetus
- If there is history of multiple miscarriages
- If the woman has had multiple IVF failures
- When fertility evaluation by the doctor indicates a poor chance of success with IVF
When IVF is a part of Surrogacy
IVF is a process in which an embryo is created by combining sperm from the intended father and eggs from the intended mother in a lab. In surrogacy, the IVF procedure remains the same, the only difference is that the embryo so developed is transferred to the surrogate’s uterus instead of the intended mother’s. This is known as host or gestational surrogacy, and the baby is not genetically related to the surrogate.
Therefore, a typical IVF-Surrogacy process would involve the following steps:
- Selection of a surrogate followed by comprehensive screening of her physical and mental health.
- Both parties sign an agreement to participate in surrogacy.
- The genetic mother undergoes ovarian stimulation to release multiple eggs.
- Eggs retrieved from the patient are combined with sperm from the male partner in a lab (in vitro fertilization).
- The surrogate is simultaneously given medication to prepare her uterus for embryo transfer.
- Once developed, the better quality embryos are placed in the surrogate’s uterus.
- A pregnancy test is done after two weeks.
- The surrogate carries the baby to full term under continuous monitoring and care of the fertility clinic.
- The baby is delivered and handed over to genetic parents.
Based on the cause of infertility, the procedure may require the use of donor sperm or eggs. For example, if the intended mother is unable to produce eggs due to a medical condition, donor eggs may be used. Similarly, if the male partner has nil sperm, donor sperm may be used.
Not every surrogacy procedure involves the use of IVF. Traditional or natural surrogacy is when the surrogate also acts as the egg donor. In such cases, IUI (intra uterine insemination)may be used to implant sperm from the male directly into the surrogate’s uterus.
Learn more about Surrogacy through our Surrogacy FAQs
We at Gaudium strongly advise that choosing between IVF and Surrogacy should not be a matter of choice but a decision necessitated by health reasons.
Gaudium IVF Centre India specialises in providing effective surrogacy services to couples from India and overseas, taking complete care of the legal, administrative and medical issues. Our surrogacy plan covers the whole extent of surrogacy related services – from selection of surrogate to birth related documentation, which gives our patients a hassle-free experience.
Learn more about Gaudium Surrogacy services