About 3% of women can’t carry a pregnancy due to problems with their uterus or another medical condition. Richard Schmidt, MD, FACOG, and Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, at NOVA IVF help every woman find the best way to have a baby, including using in vitro fertilization to create an embryo that’s carried by a surrogate. Whether you’d like to learn more about surrogacy or you need an infertility evaluation, call the office in Mountain View, California, or schedule an appointment online.
Gestational surrogacy occurs when another woman carries your baby, often giving couples the only chance of having a child. The surrogate, or gestational carrier, does not donate an egg. She carries an embryo created through in vitro fertilization using your egg and your partner’s sperm (or using a donor egg or sperm).
Your doctor at NOVA IVF determines if you may need a surrogate after performing a comprehensive medical exam, and in most cases, after implementing other treatments to help you overcome infertility.
Women often need a surrogate for reasons such as:
Gestational surrogacy is often a good option for women with congenital conditions that affect their uterus and those with structural problems that prevent them from carrying a baby.
You may have a family member or friend who wants to be your surrogate, but many women find their gestational carrier through a surrogacy agency. NOVA IVF works closely with many agencies. If you have your own surrogate, they perform testing to ensure the surrogate is healthy, and then the team performs the in vitro fertilization.
Under California law, you need a notarized surrogacy agreement. Additionally, the intended parents must establish their legal rights as parents before the baby’s birth, whether the parents are married or they’re members of the LGBTQ community.
Though your attorney files your surrogacy agreement in a court of law, your records are sealed except to the intended parents, the gestational carrier, the attorneys, and the Department of Social Services.
After you sign a contract with your surrogate, the intended parents go through in vitro fertilization. Women using their own eggs take medication to increase the number of eggs that mature in their ovaries. At the same time, your surrogate takes medications that prepare her uterus to nurture your embryo.
As soon as your eggs mature, your doctor at NOVA IVF removes them using a needle inserted through your vagina and into the ovary. Then the eggs go to the on-site lab, where they’re fertilized with your partner’s sperm and then implanted into the surrogate’s uterus. Alternatively, you can use an egg or sperm donor.
If you’d like to explore surrogacy, call NOVA IVF or schedule an appointment online.