Third Party Reproduction
Surrogacy, particularly gestational surrogacy, is emerging as a popular option for helping couples with fertility issues start or grow their families.
An important distinction should be made between a gestational surrogate/carrier and a traditional surrogate. Gestational carriers do not contribute genetic material to the embryos and solely ‘carry’ or nurture the pregnancy, whereas a traditional surrogate donates her eggs to the pregnancy and also carries the pregnancy.
There are several requirements that must be met for a woman to be a surrogate. The woman needs to be between the ages of 21 and 42, she should have had at least one previous successful and uncomplicated pregnancy, no more than, willing to take injectable medications, and she must be generally healthy for her own sake and for the sake of the unborn child. Surrogates undergo rigorous psychological screenings and a full medical screening, which includes screening for infectious diseases and STDs.
Donor eggs are usually needed when woman’s eggs will not fertilize and develop properly due to age, genetic abnormalities, damage from treatments such as cancer therapy, premature menopause or unexplained infertility. With egg donation, the father/sperm provider contributes genetically and the recipient mother carries the baby.
How to Choose an Egg Donor
Eden Centers for Advanced Fertility works with many egg donor agencies and has access to an extensive selection of egg donors. Egg donors are typically between the ages of 21 to 30, have a healthy weight, are non-smokers, have no chronic medical or genetic diseases, are physically and emotionally healthy, and have an uncomplicated family history.
Intended parents are shown donor profiles which include childhood and adult photographs of the donors, description of physical traits (eg., hair color, eye color, height, weight, and ethnic background), a personal profile where the donors have answered many questions to give insight to her personality, talents and achievements. Intended parent(s) will be guided through the matching steps of selecting egg donors by their chosen agency.
With egg donation, the father/sperm provider contributes genetically and the recipient mother carries the baby.
LGBTQ+ Fertility Options
Eden is proud to offer many fertility procedures to help LGBTQ+ individuals have the opportunity to become parents, including IUI, IVF, Reciprocal IVF and careful medical and psychological evaluation of egg donors and gestational carriers.
While lesbian women may start with donor sperm inseminations, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) offers the best success rates. Lesbian couples may choose to conceive through Reciprocal IVF, using one partner’s eggs and the other partner’s uterus to carry the pregnancy. This way, both future moms are genetically connected in part to the child (one contributing the egg’s DNA and the other by contributing a healthy uterine environment that will impact their baby’s future genetics or risk of disease).
Typically, male couples will use one man’s sperm in conjunction with an egg donor and a separate gestational carrier. The same is true for single gay men who will need to use both an egg donor and a gestational carrier. Full clearances are obtained for both the egg donors and the gestational carriers prior to starting any treatment. These include rigorous medical screenings including infectious disease, genetics, psychological assessments, and important legal clearances. Taken together, these pre-treatment requirements help to ensure both the highest level of patient safety and the healthiest outcomes.