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What is Surrogacy and how it is different from IVF

Written and reviewed by
MD, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Rewari  •  16 years experience
What is Surrogacy and how it is different from IVF

When a childless couple is not able to conceive, there are myriad paths that the couple may follow to obtain a solution. If IVF does not help the couple, then they can go in for surrogacy. In this method, another lady conceives, carries and gives birth to the baby created by the sperm and eggs of the intended parents. Let us find out more about surrogacy today.

Who can use it?
Surrogacy can be availed by couples who are not able to conceive due to many conclusive reasons including the absence of a womb or the malfunctioning of the same. Also, recurrent miscarriages can be one of the reasons. Further, a couple who has been through IVF or In Vitro Fertilisation implantation failure a number of times can opt for surrogacy.

How does it Work?
Full surrogacy, as it is known, is a process of implanting an embryo in a host body. This embryo is usually created using the egg and the sperm of the parents, or even a fertilised egg that has been donated by a donor, which is then fertilised using the sperm from the intended father. Also, this embryo may be created by using donor eggs and donor sperms. Partial surrogacy is also a method that may be used. When artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI) is used to create an embryo with the sperm from the intended father and the egg from the surrogate mother, then the process is known as partial surrogacy.

Chance of having a baby with surrogacy
The chance of having a baby with surrogacy depend on various factors. It depends on the ability of the surrogate to get pregnant, as well as her overall health. Before choosing a surrogate, it is important to put her through all the necessary tests to ascertain a good state of health. Further, the age of the egg donor is also a factor in such cases. The success of related procedures like IVF or IUI will also determine the chances of conception through this method. Furthermore, the quality of the elements used by the couple or the intended parents will also make a difference to the process and its efficacy. Yet, the most important factor includes the age of the woman whose egg is being used.

Difference between IVF and Surrogacy
In IVF, the eggs are gathered from the woman and the sperm is taken from her partner before an embryo is created and affixed in the uterus of the intended mother. In surrogacy, it is actually another woman who carries this lab-created embryo through methods like artificial insemination. The sperm may come from the father and the egg may be donated by someone else, in many cases involving full or partial surrogacy.

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