Gestational Carriers vs. Traditional Surrogacy


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When beginning your fertility journey, you are faced with a whole new world of scientific terminology. One term that can be confusing for potential patients seeking fertility treatment is the term “surrogate” – because people use it to refer to any woman who carries a child for someone else; however, there are really two types of surrogacy:

1.  Traditional surrogacy –  a woman who is not the intended parent is artificially inseminated with the intended father’s sperm.

2.  Gestational surrogacy – an egg (retrieved from either the intended mother or from a donor)is fertilized with the intended father’s sperm, and then implanted into a gestational carrier.

In this article the surrogacy experts at SpringCreek Fertility Clinic in the greater Cincinnati area discuss when a gestational carrier is used, why a gestational carrier is used, and how a gestational carrier can help you realize your dreams of building a family.

When is a gestational carrier used?

A gestational carrier is typically used in the following situations:

  • When an intended mother does not have a uterus.
  • When the intended parents are a male couple or is a single man.
  • When the intended mother has a medical condition that would prevent her from safely carrying a pregnancy.
  • When IVF has failed to successfully implant an embryo in the intended mother’s uterus.

How does using a gestational carrier work?

In addition to the biological father, two women are involved in gestational surrogacy. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is used to remove eggs from either the intended mother or from the egg donor and fertilize them with the intended father’s sperm. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the uterus of the second woman who is the gestational carrier.

In other words, the eggs are retrieved from one woman, fertilized through IVF in a laboratory, and then implanted in another woman.

Who can be a gestational carrier?

Ideally, a gestational carrier will meet all of these criteria:

  • between the ages of 21 and 45
  • in good health
  • has had a successful term pregnancy
  • has had no more than 5 vaginal deliveries or 2 cesarean deliveries
  • has a supportive home and family environment
  • has discussed the risks of pregnancy with her own primary healthcare provider

Are gestational carriers tested prior to IVF?

Yes. At SpringCreek Fertility Clinic in the greater Cincinnati area, we will complete a thorough patient history and physical examination of the intended gestational carrier – to ensure there are no reasons that pregnancy would not be safe for her or the child.  All gestational carriers are also tested for viral infections.

Additionally, a clinical interview will be conducted by a mental health counselor with the gestational carrier. This will address the psychological aspects of surrogacy as it affects the gestational carrier – including her relationships with her partner, her children, her employer, and the intended parents. 

Are gestational carriers paid?

The gestational carrier is providing the important service of carrying and delivering the embryo(s) of the biological parents  to whom she is typically not related. For this reason, the gestational carrier is generally compensated for the significant amount of time, care, and effort involved in fulfilling this role.

The amount of compensation paid to the gestational carrier is typically pro-rated based on the procedures performed – from attempted IVF, to carrying and a delivering a baby.

At SpringCreek Fertility Clinic in the greater Cincinnati area, we have a great deal of experience with IVF using gestational carriers. Our fertility experts will help you agree upon all fees to be paid to the gestational carrier before any treatment begins, as well as contractually document the arrangement between the intended parents and the gestational carrier.

Pregnancy Through Gestational Carrier

In vitro fertilization using a gestational carrier is an excellent option for a woman experiencing uterine problems, who wishes to have children. IVF with a gestational carrier is also a wonderful reproductive solution for single men or gay male couples.

The award-winning medical team at SpringCreek Fertility Clinic in the greater Cincinnati, OH area has assisted more than 5,000 families with the most compassionate care and the most advanced reproductive technology available.

To discuss the possibility of using IVF and a gestational carrier, or other state-of-the-art fertility treatments, contact SpringCreek Fertility Clinic in the greater Cincinnati, OH area. We are here to help you make your family planning dreams a reality.

Cincinnati Area Fertility Specialists: (937) 458-5084

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Unfortunately, COVID cases are on the rise.

As of July 21, 2022, here are the updated COVID guidelines:

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