Surrogacy involves using a woman's uterus to implant and carry the embryo and deliver the baby for another couple. The woman that carries the pregnancy is called the surrogate or gestational carrier. The genetic mom is the recipient.
Usually this procedure is for a recipient who had her uterus removed but still has ovaries. The recipient can provide the egg to make a baby, but has no womb to carry it. A surrogate is also sometimes used for cases where a young woman has a medical condition that could result in serious health risks to the mother or the baby. It is also done sometimes in couples with recurrent IVF implantation failure..
An appropriate surrogate is chosen and thoroughly screened for infectious diseases. Consents are signed by all parties. This is an important step in surrogacy cases. All potential issues need to be carefully clarified, put in writing and signed. The patient is stimulated for IVF with medications to develop multiple eggs. The surrogate is placed on medications that suppress her own menstrual cycle and stimulate development of a receptive uterine lining. When the patient's follicles are mature, an egg retrieval procedure is performed to remove eggs from her ovaries. The eggs are fertilized in the laboratory with her partner's sperm. The embryos develop in the laboratory for 3-5 days. Then, an embryo transfer procedure is done which places the embryos in the surrogate mother's uterus where they will hopefully implant. The surrogate delivers the baby. The baby goes home from the hospital with the genetic parents..