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Surrogate Medical Requirements FAQs

October 24th, 2019
Surrogate Medical Requirements FAQs

The medical requirements to become a surrogate are the most absolute. ConceiveAbilities takes a more holistic approach to other considerations such as lifestyle but the medical requirements we have in place for surrogates are typically a bit more cut and dry. We maintain surrogate medical requirements for all applicants to ensure the health and safety of both our surrogates and the babies they carry.

What are the specific surrogate medical/health requirements?

There are many qualifications we consider when we screen surrogates. The primary medical and health related requirements to become a surrogate include:

  • A non-smoker living in a non-smoking home
  • Age between 21-39 years old
  • BMI between 18-32
  • Have given birth to and be raising at least one child
  • Documented records of uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries
  • Able to provide OB/GYN records and a clearance letter
  • No history of clinical mental illness

As part of surrogacy process, you will also undergo a medical screening with a fertility specialist to make sure that you able to sustain a pregnancy. Previous pregnancies should be documented as generally healthy and uncomplicated. You should be honest and upfront about experiences with preterm labor or miscarriage when applying to become a surrogate.

Can I become a surrogate without a previous pregnancy?

No. It is a strict requirement that surrogates have carried at least one of their own children to term in a healthy pregnancy. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine includes this in their guidelines for surrogacy, so it will be a requirement with any reputable surrogacy agency.

Requiring surrogates to have a previous pregnancy ensures that there are no underlying medical conditions which could impact successful implantation and that you are confident in having an idea of what to expect from experience.

What medical conditions can disqualify you to be a surrogate mother?

Agencies and the fertility clinics they work with can vary in what medical conditions disqualify a surrogate applicant. Your doctor is also a valuable resource to advise you on your specific circumstances. With that said, there are several conditions which will most likely disqualify you from becoming a surrogate mother.

  • HIV can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy or birth, so surrogates cannot test positive for HIV.
  • Preeclampsia in previous pregnancies leads to a higher likelihood in later pregnancies. The high blood pressure and kidney damage that come with preeclampsia present a health risk to the surrogate and the baby.
  • Ablation destroys a part of your uterine lining, which makes a successful implantation more unlikely. It also increases the risk of miscarriage if you do become pregnant and will disqualify you from becoming a surrogate.
  • PCOS impacts the likelihood of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other health risks which can impact your ability to carry a baby. Your doctor can best determine the impacts of PCOS on a potential pregnancy, but PCOS may disqualify you from becoming a surrogate depending on the severity.
  • Endometriosis can make it harder to become pregnant and increase health risks to the baby if you do become pregnant. Since the severity of endometriosis varies, it’s important to seek the guidance of a doctor on how this might impact your surrogacy journey.

This is not an all-inclusive list, and there are unique medical considerations for many surrogate applicants. If you have questions, your agency and doctor can educate you about how your medical conditions impact your qualifications to become a surrogate.

Can you become a surrogate if your tubes are tied?

Yes. Since ConceiveAbilities is a gestational surrogacy agency, the egg used will always be from a donor. Getting your tubes tied, or a tubal ligation, works by stopping your own ovulation. It doesn’t impact the ability to transplant an embryo into your uterus successfully.

Can you be a surrogate after a c-section?

Yes. We can accept applicants with three or fewer previous caesarean sections. It is important to discuss any past C-sections with your doctor to determine the potential impacts they may have on surrogacy.

Can you be a surrogate after menopause?

No. We have an age requirement that all surrogates must be between the ages of 21-39 years old, and typically menopause occurs after this age. By nature, menopause is your body letting you know the reproductive period of your life has ended. Even if you are post-menopausal and meet this age requirement, becoming pregnant after menopause is highly unlikely and presents many risks to a successful pregnancy.

Can you be a surrogate if you have HPV?

Yes. We require the additional documentation of your colposcopy results if you are HPV positive. In the majority of cases, HPV does not impact the healthy development of a baby. It can be transmitted to the baby if you are experiencing an outbreak of genital warts, one of the most common side effects of HPV, during birth. If this is the case, you should be prepared to give birth via C-section.

Can you be a surrogate if you have high blood pressure?

No. High blood pressure increases the risk of preeclampsia and other pregnancy risks. It can decrease blood flow to the placenta, which may lead to low birth weight or premature birth. It can also lead to the slower growth of the baby or injury to your own major organs. Hypertension is linked to many health risks for a developing baby, and it is not worth the health of you or the baby to begin surrogacy without having your blood pressure at an ideal level.

Can you be a surrogate mother if you or your children are not vaccinated?

ConceiveAbilities welcomes applicants who represent a wide range of backgrounds, values, and beliefs. We understand that there are many viewpoints surrounding vaccination and do not disqualify surrogate applicants based off whether they or their families are vaccinated. We get to know our applicants to facilitate a perfect match and supportive relationship from the start, so during your screening you should plan to discuss your beliefs and reasoning about opting out of vaccinations. Your agency will work with you to navigate how this may impact your path to becoming a surrogate.

Reputable surrogacy agencies like ConceiveAbilities have years of experience curating their medical requirements for surrogates with the goal of increasing chances of a successful pregnancy. The health of you, the surrogate and the baby throughout surrogacy is top priority, so we uphold strict medical standards, developed with our partner fertility clinics. If you have any questions about medical requirements to become a surrogate, don’t hesitate to contact us- we are here to help every step of the way.