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If you have been trying to conceive for 12 months or more to no avail, you may have thought about other alternatives, including surrogacy. Approximately 11% of the reproductive-age population in the United States is struggling with infertility. Infertility may be due to problems with the female partner, male partner, or a combination of issues in both partners. Visiting a  fertility San Diego specialist can help establish deep-rooted causes of your problem and the available treatment options.

Surrogacy is a growing means of bringing a new life into the world, but there is still some controversy about using a surrogate mother. Read on to learn about surrogacy, including what the agreement involves.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a method of assisted reproduction supported by legal agreement, whereby intended parents work with a gestational or traditional surrogate who will carry and give birth to their baby. Once the baby is brought to life, the intended parents get full custody and guardianship of the child. Being aware of the process is important since surrogacy involves complex medical and legal steps. As such, you want to seek professional advice and build strong support networks.

A traditional surrogate gets artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm that fertilizes her egg. As such, the surrogate has biological ties to the baby since the father’s sperm fertilizes her egg. Donor sperm can also be used on a traditional surrogate.  

On the other hand, a gestational surrogate is not the child’s biological mother and has no genetic ties. A gestational surrogate does not use her eggs; instead, through in vitro fertilization, a specialist retrieves eggs from the mother and fertilizes them with sperm from the father or a donor. Once fertilization takes place, the doctor places the embryo into the gestational surrogate’s uterus.

When is surrogacy helpful?

There are several reasons why couples may consider surrogacy. If you are a woman, surrogacy may be a good option if you have medical problems with your uterus or a hysterectomy that removes your uterus. Surrogacy may also be helpful if you have conditions like severe heart disease that make pregnancy risky or impossible.

You may also discuss surrogacy with your fertility specialist if you have tried other treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) with no success. Thanks to surrogates, people who can’t adopt a child due to age or marital status can also become parents. Single or gay men can also benefit from surrogacy; they use a traditional surrogate, and one uses their sperm to fertilize the surrogate’s egg. Artificial insemination is usually used in this case. A gay couple can also choose an egg donor, fertilize the egg and have the embryo implanted in the uterus of a gestational carrier.

How do I find a surrogate?

Although somewhat controversial, you can ask a friend or relative to be a surrogate for you. You can also use a surrogacy agency to find a surrogate and make arrangements. Agencies act as go-betweens and collect any fee passed between you and the surrogate. You might consider many things when choosing a surrogate, so it is best to take your time.

If you need help regarding surrogacy, consult your doctor at Great Beginnings Surrogacy @ Gen 5.