When a female partner cannot carry a baby due to an absent uterus or systemic disease that could affect either her own or baby’s health, many couples consider a third party to carry the pregnancy, a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier may also be an option for a woman with a history of poor reproductive outcomes, such as recurrent miscarriage or preterm delivery.
If you elect to use a gestational carrier, Houston Fertility Institute is prepared to assist in all phases of the surrogacy process.
About Gestational Carriers
Gestational carriers are women who carry and delivery babies for other couples, the intended parents. In our IVF laboratory, the egg cell of the intended mother is fertilized by the sperm of the intended father. The resulting embryo is placed into the uterus of the gestational carrier and proceeds normally like any spontaneously conceived pregnancy. The baby is the genetic offspring of the intended parents and has no genetic relationship with the carrier.
Gestational Surrogacy – How It Works
If you are considering having a child through a surrogate, the important thing to consider is that the carrier has no genetic link to the fetus. Through in-vitro-fertilization and ICSI, we can extract eggs from yourself or a donor and fertilize them outside of the body. This fertilization can be done with your partner’s sperm or that of a donor.
If you know of someone whom you would like to act as a gestational carrier, we can evaluate them and determine if they would be well-suited to carry your child. If you don’t have someone selected or if your carrier is not a good match for medical reasons, we work with numerous agencies that can pair you with someone that you will trust. At the Houston Fertility Institute, we also work with lawyers specialized in third party reproduction to help ensure not only the smoothest experience possible, but also protection of your legal rights as the intended parent.
Indications for Gestational Surrogacy
Unfortunately, not all women are able to carry and deliver a baby. Below are some indications for the use of a gestational carrier. If any of the below factors apply to you, we encourage you to consult with the experts at Houston Fertility Institute.
- Medical conditions preclude you from carrying a child due to potential health risks, such as advanced heart disease, lupus or diabetes.
- Significant injury or disease of the uterus
- No uterus
Of course, a gestational carrier is a viable option for men as well. If you decide third party reproduction is right for you, we can inform you of your options during your initial consultation and guide you through every step of the process following. We want our patients to be able to make informed decisions regarding their health and plans for creating a family.