With the improvement in dissemination of information regarding infertility and its management, it no longer remains a topic of stigma or taboo. However, when it comes to ‘surrogacy’, it remains an area surrounded with doubts and misunderstandings.

To understand in brief, gestational surrogacy is a type of third-party reproduction, where the genetic material from the biological parents (gamete), is made to grow inside womb of another female who will carry it till delivery.

We at SOI aim to enhance awareness and demystify the stigma surrounding this very essential and crucial mode of infertility management.

Indications of surrogacy

There are various instances when a female is unable to carry the pregnancy to term despite having normal ovaries and other sexual characters. This realisation may be devastating for some, and surrogacy comes as a boon for these couples.

  • Genetic or surgical removal of uterus: there are certain genetic conditions where uterus fails to develop in the female body or is very small in size (atrophic). They, however, can produce eggs for IVF. Then there are certain women where uterus had to be removed because of various medical reasons like malignancy/excessive bleeding or delivery related complications (placenta accreta/post-partum hemorrhage), etc.
  • Intrauterine problems: some issues in the uterus may not allow the embryo to implant or may result in repeated miscarriages, viz., multiple fibroids, very thin endometrial lining, unusual shape of the uterus, adhesions, infections of the uterus (e.g., tuberculosis), etc.
  • Medical issues: Certain medical conditions of female that may be severe enough to pose life risk during pregnancy or delivery like, heart disease, kidney disease, connective tissue disorders, severe diabetes, severe hypertension, bleeding disorders, etc.
  • Mental disorders: If a female had mental issues during or after first pregnancy like severe depression, post-partum psychosis or suicidal tendencies, conception may impose significant risk to both, the mother, and the baby.
  • Medications: Some women may be on medications which are not safe for pregnancy, and it may not be possible to discontinue those (e.g., chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc).
  • Unexplained infertility and repeated IVF failure

For all such couples, surrogacy maybe a life-changing option. It may not be an easy decision; however, the amalgamation of advances in reproductive medicine and its various techniques, the courage and determination of intending couple and kindness and generosity of the surrogate may all come together to result in a beautiful experience and a life to cherish.