Surrogacy treatment is a method of assisted reproduction. The word surrogate originates from Latin word Surrogatus (substitution) meaning ‘to act in the place of’. The term surrogacy is used when a woman undergoes pregnancy and gives birth to a baby for another woman.
Types of Surrogacy
- IVF / Gestational surrogacy
- Traditional / Natural surrogacy
IVF / Gestational surrogacy
This is the most common form of surrogacy. In this procedure, a woman undergoes pregnancy created by the egg and sperm of the genetic couple. The egg of the wife is fertilized in vitro by the husband’s sperms by IVF/ICSI, and the embryo is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus, and the surrogate carries the pregnancy for nine months. The child is not genetically linked to the surrogate.
- Primarily, IVF surrogacy is indicated in women whose ovaries are producing eggs but they do not have a uterus. For e.g., in the following cases:
- Congenital absence of uterus (Mullerian agenesis)
- Surgical removal of the uterus (hysterectomy) due to cancer, severe hemorrhage in Caesarian section or a ruptured uterus.
- A woman whose uterus is malformed (Unicornuate uterus, T shaped uterus, Bicornuate uterus with rudimentary horn) or is damaged (T.B of the endometrium, severe Asherman’s Syndrome) or at a high risk of rupture, (previous uterine surgeries for rupture uterus or fibroid uterus) and is unable to carry pregnancy to term can also be recommended for IVF surrogacy.
- Women who have repeated miscarriages or have repeated failed IVF cycles may be advised IVF surrogacy in view of unexplained factors which could be responsible for failed implantation and early pregnancy wastage.
- Women who suffer from medical problems like diabetes, cardio-vascular disorders, or kidney diseases like chronic nephritis, whose long term prospect for health is good but pregnancy would be life threatening.
- Woman with Rh incompatibility.
Traditional / Natural surrogacy
This is where the surrogate is inseminated or IVF/ICSI procedure is performed with sperms from the male partner of an infertile couple. This is recommended in the following cases:
- Women who have no functioning ovaries due to premature ovarian failure. Here Egg Donation also can be an option.
- A woman who is at a risk of passing a genetic disease to her offspring may also opt for traditional surrogacy.