For many hopeful parents, gestational surrogacy can offer an opportunity to build the family they envision. Unlike a traditional surrogate, a gestational carrier is not biologically related to the child she is carrying. This option offers several unique benefits. The gestational surrogacy program at our Englewood, CO, clinic has helped a wide array of hopeful parents. Our fertility specialists, Dr. Bruce Albrecht and Dr. Dana Ambler, can walk you through every step of the surrogate process. With over 40 years of combined experience, our doctors offer a range of assisted reproductive technologies, allowing us to tailor a plan that suits your needs and goals.
Who Should Consider Gestational Surrogacy?
A variety of patients may benefit from choosing a gestational carrier, including:
- Hopeful single parents
- Same-sex couples
- Couples or individuals who struggle with infertility
- Patients who are unable to carry a pregnancy safely to term
Patients that have had surgical removal of their uterus secondary to uterine or cervical cancer, fibroids, or endometriosis
Patients with diabetes or hypertension or other severe medical conditions
Patients unable to maintain an adequate endometrial lining inside the uterus
Patients with recurrent pregnancy loss
In general, our doctors recommend gestational surrogacy for hopeful parents who do not want a genetic link to exist between their chosen surrogate and their child.
Understanding Gestational Surrogacy
There are two main types of surrogacy available for prospective parents: traditional and gestational. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate uses her own eggs, carries the baby, and releases the child to the parents to raise after birth. With this option, there is a biological connection between the surrogate and the baby.
In contrast, a gestational surrogate has no biological connection to the child she carries. Using in vitro fertilization (IVF), our doctors can create a fertilized embryo and place it into the uterus of the gestational carrier. There are several different options available for patients considering gestational surrogacy.
The IVF and embryo transfer process can use:
- The sperm and eggs of the intended parents
- A donated egg and the sperm of the intended father
- The eggs of the intended mother and donor sperm
- An embryo created with donor eggs and donor sperm
- A donated embryo
With a wide range of combinations available, the surrogacy process allows our team to create a treatment plan which suits your individual preferences.
How to Get Started
- Schedule a new patient appointment with a physician at Denver Fertility to review your history and determine a treatment plan.
- Our IVF team will schedule your gestational carrier for a consultation at Denver Fertility, and she will do some specific blood work and uterine testing.
- We will outline all necessary screening for all parties involved, including testing required by the FDA.
Selecting a Gestational Carrier
Denver Fertility’s IVF team will refer couples needing a gestational carrier to an experienced and reputable agency. Here, you will choose a gestational carrier, then meet to determine compatibility. The gestational carrier will then go through the recommended and required screening. The average time to be matched with a gestational carrier can be from 2-6 months.
Intended Parent - The female partner of the intended couple will undergo an IVF cycle where she will take hormones to stimulate the ovaries to create and mature several eggs. She will be monitored with blood work and ultrasound to measure the size of the developing follicles. She will then take medications to ‘trigger’ egg maturity and we will plan to extract the eggs from the ovary. The eggs are then combined with sperm in the laboratory to create embryos.
Gestational Carrier (GC) - After embryos are created, we will give the GC estrogen and progesterone in a sequential fashion to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. We will then plan on an embryo transfer, where we select an embryo to place onto the uterine lining for pregnancy.
Unique Benefits & Other Considerations
There are a variety of aspects to consider before pursuing surrogacy. Many hopeful parents opt to use a gestational surrogate because it allows them to create a genetic link with their child. In addition, gestational surrogacy is the least legally complex form of surrogacy. While Colorado surrogacy laws are favorable to most parents, traditional surrogacy is more likely to prompt legal pitfalls, which can affect your family in the future.
It is important to keep in mind that surrogacy is an expensive and complicated process. Intended parents must relinquish a certain level of control as another individual is experiencing the pregnancy. As such, the search for a gestational carrier can be stressful and emotional. There might also be the added cost of fertility treatments, such as ovulation induction medications, and other medical procedures for mothers who intend to use their own eggs for the process.
Fortunately, if you opt to pursue gestational surrogacy at Denver Fertility Albrecht Women’s Care, we can walk you through every stage of the process from egg donation or egg retrieval through embryo implantation. Our caring fertility specialists have helped many couples through the gestational surrogacy process with great success to build the family they desire. It generally can take 4 to 6 months to complete the necessary screening and IVF procedures before an embryo transfer commences.
Start the Process Today
While gestational surrogacy can be a challenging process, it can also offer a unique and rewarding opportunity for a variety of hopeful parents. To find out more about our gestational surrogacy program, serving patients in Englewood and throughout Denver, reach out today. Contact our clinic online or call (720) 464-3935 to speak with a member of our team.