A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a pregnancy for another couple or individual. This process begins when one or more embryos created with the sperm and egg of the intended parent/s (donor sperm and/or donor eggs may be used) is transferred into the gestational carrier.
Use of a gestational carrier is indicated for a woman who has normally functioning ovaries but who lacks a uterus or has uterine abnormalities. Gestational carriers are also an appropriate option for women with a medical contraindication to pregnancy such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease. Gestational carriers have also been used to help women with poor obstetrical outcomes or recurrent miscarriage as well as same sex male couples.
Gestational carriers can be relatives or friends of the intended parent/s who volunteer to carry a pregnancy. Alternatively, gestational carriers can be identified through agencies that specialize in this process. The gestational carrier undergoes extensive medical testing as well as a thorough medical history and physical exam. Each prospective carrier also undergoes a full series of psychological screening tests and an interview with a psychologist.
RMA of Philadelphia synchronizes the cycles of the gestational carrier and genetic mother or egg donor. The genetic mother or egg donor undergoes ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. On the day of egg retrieval, the recipient’s partner (if applicable) will produce a fresh semen sample. Donor sperm may also be used. The sperm is then combined with the eggs. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be indicated if the semen analysis is abnormal or if cryopreserved eggs are being used. Typically, one or two of the resulting embryos are then transferred into the carrier’s uterus, which has already been prepared with estrogen and progesterone.
For more information on our gestational carrier program, please contact us today.