Using a gestational carrier helps patients with a variety of fertility needs become parents
Women with certain health or reproductive challenges, as well as single men and gay couples, can take the next step towards parenthood at our Nashville fertility clinic by using a gestational carrier and IVF. A gestational carrier, or surrogate, is a generous woman who agrees to carry a pregnancy but does not provide the eggs.
During IVF with a gestational surrogate, the intended mother or an egg donor provides the eggs, and the intended father or a sperm donor provides the sperm. An embryologist fertilizes the eggs in the lab before the doctor transfers a resulting embryo into the surrogate’s uterus.
This type of third-party reproduction is incredibly effective and supports the creation of many happy families.
Using a gestational carrier requires specific testing
Before beginning an IVF cycle with a gestational surrogate, the surrogate and the intended parents have to undergo testing and counseling. These requirements help ensure that all parties are mentally and psychologically prepared for the process.
Requirements for gestational carriers. Surrogates typically receive a pap smear, uterine analysis, blood test, and STD and drug screening. If the surrogate has a spouse or partner, they undergo a drug screen and blood test to screen for infectious diseases. The surrogate also goes through psychological testing to determine if she is a suitable candidate for surrogacy.
Requirements for intended fathers. Intended fathers or sperm donors providing sperm for the cycle must produce a semen sample that a fertility specialist tests for sperm volume and quality. The sperm provider or intended father also has a blood test to determine his blood type and Rh factor, an infectious disease screening and a genetic carrier test.
Requirements for intended mothers. If the intended mother is providing the eggs for the cycle, she will undergo bloodwork and ultrasound to assess her ovarian reserve. She will also receive infectious disease screening and a genetic carrier test. If donor eggs are used, the donor will undergo the same testing.
During IVF with a gestational surrogate, all parties receive informational psychological counseling to explore the mental and emotional elements of surrogacy. Our Nashville fertility clinic is by the patients’ side for each step of this testing, ensuring the process is as smooth and simple as possible.
What patients can expect during IVF with a gestational surrogate
Using a gestational carrier requires numerous steps that help ensure the surrogate and intended parents are fully prepared for the process. These steps also increase the chance that IVF with a gestational surrogate will be successful.
Counseling. After deciding to move forward with surrogacy, the intended parents meet with a psychiatric clinical specialist to review the psychological aspects of building a family through surrogacy.
Selecting a surrogate. We connect intended parents with reputable surrogacy agencies who can support them in finding their ideal surrogate, and throughout the entire pregnancy through delivery and beyond.
Group counseling. The intended parents and potential surrogate attend a group appointment with the psychiatric clinical specialist.
Intended parent testing. After psychological counseling, the intended parents complete medical testing prerequisites.
Surrogate testing. After a doctor at our Nashville fertility clinic confirms the suitability of a surrogate candidate, the candidate undergoes comprehensive medical testing.
IVF class. The intended parents and surrogate attend an IVF class that outlines the specifics of the IVF consent forms, calendars and medication use, including tutorials for fertility medication injections.
Legal. The intended parents work with an attorney who specializes in family law to develop a legal contract with the gestational carrier.
IVF cycle plan. After the completion of all prerequisites, the intended parents and surrogate work with one of our IVF coordinators to develop plans for the cycle.
Our clinic strives to streamline this process and make it as comfortable, efficient and transparent as possible for all parties.
Contact us for more information about using a gestational carrier.