Women with severe defects or damage to the uterus cannot conceive. However they can have their biological child by undergoing ovarian stimulation, harvesting their eggs, fertilizing them with their husband’s sperms and transferring the resulting embryos into another woman’s uterus. This person carries the pregnancy till term and delivers a child biologically belonging to the infertile couple. The child is then legally adopted by the couple as their heir.
Indications for surrogacy are:
- Uterine anomalies- severe congenital hypoplasia, rudimentary uterus
- Uterine damage- severe Ashermans’ syndrome post infections, post trauma
- Medical conditions precluding pregnancy. Medicolegal and social issues need to be resolved
How does surrogacy work?
Full surrogacy (also known as Host or Gestational) – Full surrogacy involves the implantation of an embryo created using either:
- The eggs and sperm of the intended parents
- A donated egg fertilised with sperm from the intended father
- An embryo created using donor eggs and sperm.
Partial surrogacy (also known Straight or Traditional) – Partial surrogacy involves sperm from the intended father and an egg from the surrogate. Here fertilisation is (usually) done by artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Before surrogacy is considered. Maternal child bonding may complicate the outcome. The surrogate mother is medically evaluated and undergoes the same preparatory procedures as in oocyte donation as a recipient of embryo transfer.