Having a child may seem impossible for a couple who have lost their uterus for some reason. But now, with the advancement of science and the use of surrogacy, many couples are able to embrace their children. In the surrogate method, a woman (surrogate mother) carries the fetus of a couple who are unable to conceive in the usual way. In this method, the father’s sperm is fertilized in the laboratory with the mother’s egg, and the resulting embryo is placed in the uterus of another woman who has the ability to have children. The woman holds the fetus in her uterus and delivers the baby to their parents after delivery. If you are suffering from infertility problems and surrogacy is the only way for you to have children, you can get information about surrogacy and the use of surrogacy in Iran in this article.
What is surrogacy?
There are several possible causes of infertility in couples. Causes such as sperm motility or tubal obstruction or poor egg quality can be treated with therapies such as IVF, ICSI, IUI, or donated eggs. But sometimes infertility occurs due to loss of the uterus or structural problems in the uterus. In these cases, using the usual methods of infertility treatment is not enough. (learn more about fertility treatment: Frequently Asked Questions about fertility treatment
In cases where the woman has lost her uterus due to congenital or disease or has problems in the structure of the uterus that make implantation of the fetus impossible, a surrogate uterus can help to have children. In these cases, the couple’s egg and sperm are fertilized in vitro, as in the case of IVF. The formed embryos are transferred to the uterus of another female volunteer a few days later to complete the developmental stages. A newborn baby has the genetic characteristics of its parents. The surrogate mother is legally obliged to deliver the baby to the infertile couple after birth. In some cases, couples do not have the right egg or sperm in addition to the uterine problem.
In these cases, in addition to the surrogate uterus, a donated egg or embryo can also, be used. A donated egg is fertilized in the laboratory with male sperm and the formed embryo or donated embryo is transferred to the surrogate mother’s uterus. (Learn more about Egg Donation and Egg Donation in Iran: Egg Donation in Iran)
How is infertility treated with a surrogate?
To treat infertility using a surrogate uterus, the couple must first be examined by specialists. A gynecologist evaluates uterine abnormalities by examining the health of the female reproductive system and confirms the presence of physiological defects in the uterus. Sometimes the uterus may be healthy, but pregnancy has risks for the woman, in which case the necessary tests are performed.
The next step is for the gynecologist to check the condition of the hormones and ovaries to determine if the mother is able to produce a healthy egg. If there is a problem in egg production, a donated egg is used at the doctor’s discretion.
In addition to women, the health of the male reproductive system is also examined and evaluated by a urologist.
The use of surrogacy has hidden dimensions that could affect the couple’s relationship in the future. Therefore, couples who intend to use surrogacy should be consulted by a psychiatrist. These consultations can help couples understand the different angles of this treatment and better analyze them.
In some cases, couples may have genetic diseases that can affect the health of the fetus. Therefore, in cases where the fetus belongs to a couple, the history of genetic diseases and the chances of transmitting it to the child are examined, and if necessary, the PGD method is used to select healthy fetuses.
On the other hand, the surrogate woman should also be examined by specialists. The volunteer must be married, less than 35 years old, and have a successful pregnancy history.
At first, the gynecologist assesses the history of miscarriage, preterm delivery, uterine health, and pregnancy problems such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, and tests for addiction and sexually transmitted infections.
In addition to the health of the reproductive system, the owner of the uterus should be examined for heart health and diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy, etc., which may affect the process of pregnancy and childbirth.
The most important part of evaluating a volunteer is psychiatric and legal counseling. A psychiatrist examines a person’s motivation to do so.
By evaluating her psychological backgrounds such as marital life, personality disorder, criminal history, etc., she acquaints her with legal issues and different angles of this work.
Finally, if the applicant couple and the uterus owner have passed all the steps with the approval of the specialists, they will sign contracts that they are obliged to adhere to during and after the treatment.
In the next step, if the couple has healthy eggs and sperm, they are collected by a specialist and fertilized together in a laboratory. If the couple does not have a suitable egg or sperm for some reason, a donated egg or embryo is used. In the next step, the formed or donated embryos are transferred to the volunteer’s uterus during outpatient surgery.
Who is a candidate for a surrogate?
- Absence of uterus in the congenital or acquired situation: Some women do not congenitally have a uterus. But some people have removed their uterus because of diseases such as cancer of the uterus or cervix.
- Abnormal and improper structure of the uterus: Sometimes the uterus is congenitally abnormal and does not allow the fetus to the implant. Sometimes the uterus is no longer suitable for pregnancy due to infection, severe adhesions, and large fibroids that have developed during various surgeries.
- Frequent failure of infertility treatments despite proper fetuses: In some cases, the couple may not become pregnant after several IVF and ICSI despite the good quality of the fetuses. (learn more about causes of IVF failure: Causes of IVF failure)
- Recurrent abortion for unknown reasons
- Having diseases that cause high-risk pregnancies: The presence of underlying diseases such as advanced heart failure, diabetes, kidney failure in the mother makes pregnancy dangerous for her. In addition, some patients, such as those with cancer, need to take medications that can affect the health of the fetus.
What are the characteristics of a surrogacy volunteer?
In order to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy, a person with a uterus must have certain characteristics and conditions. These conditions are:
- Proper age: The volunteer must be under 35 years old. Because of the chances of implanting the fetus in the uterus decrease with age.
- Successful pregnancy history: The person with the uterus must have at least one child. This will give you more confidence.
- Physical health: The volunteer must be in good physical health. Having diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc., which can affect the pregnancy process, can remove the volunteer from the list. In addition to addiction, alcohol consumption, sexually transmitted infections also prevent the volunteer from continuing the process.
- Mental health: The surrogate uterus is a psychologically complex issue. Therefore, the volunteer should be examined for mental health, marital stability, personality stability, and mental illness. If mental health is not confirmed, the person will be removed from the list of volunteers.
- Fully familiar with the legal issues of surrogacy: The candidate must be familiar with all aspects and legal issues of this work and study and approve all necessary contracts. One of the most important legal issues in surrogacy is the delivery of the baby to its parents after birth.
What factors influence the success of a surrogacy procedure?
The success of an alternative uterine procedure depends more than anything on the quality of the egg. Therefore, the age of the person from whom the egg is taken is very influential in the success of this method. The rate of spontaneous abortion for fetuses in mother’s age 35 years is reported to be 15%, 35 to 40 years 20%, and more than 40 years to about 40%.
In addition, the health of the surrogate uterus is critical to the success of the pregnancy. For this reason, a successful pregnancy history is one of the conditions for choosing the right person as a surrogate mother. Another factor that can affect the success of a surrogacy procedure is the skill of the treatment center and specialist physician. Therefore, you should be more careful in choosing a medical center and doctor.
What are the risks of Surrogacy?
Using a surrogate uterus can have risks for the surrogate mother, parents, and even the baby, which can be reduced by checking with a specialist and gaining knowledge.
One of the risks of this method is the possibility of multiple pregnancies, which can pose a risk to the health of the surrogate mother and the fetus. High blood pressure, gestational diabetes, low birth weight, the possibility of premature birth, and even miscarriage are among the risks of multiple pregnancies. Today; advanced medical centers have made it possible to reduce the number of embryos before they grow to two or even one embryo and to control the risk of these risks.
Another risk in using an alternative uterine method is the possibility of emotional dependence between the surrogate mother and the baby, which can cause concern for her parents. But pre-treatment psychiatric and legal counseling and existing contracts have eliminated the risk.
Types of contracts in surrogacy
In order for the infertile couple and the owner of the uterus to trust each other and to ensure that the parties adhere to their obligations, prior to the transfer of the fetus to the surrogate mother, a contract is made between the infertile couple, the uterus owner, and her spouse. In this contract, the uterus owner undertakes to carry the fetus and give birth to it and deliver it to the couple after birth.
On the other hand, infertile couples have different obligations depending on the type of contract. These obligations depending on the type of contract are:
- Commercial contract: In this type of contract, the infertile couple pays a sum of money to the volunteer in exchange for the uterus.
- Friendly contract: In this type of contract, the uterus owner has only an altruistic motive and does not receive any payment from the infertile couple for their obligations. In most cases, the volunteers are close relatives of the infertile couple. In this type of contract, the infertile couple is usually responsible for paying for food and medical care for the person with the uterus. It is recommended to think about all aspects before concluding the contract and to consider a guarantee in the contract for any case you are concerned about. For example, in the case of induced abortion, abortion due to non-compliance with medical advice or the availability of a volunteer during pregnancy, receive performance guarantees.
Surrogacy in Iran
Iran is one of the leading countries in infertility treatment. Infertility treatment centers in Iran always use up-to-date and advanced treatment methods for infertility treatment. Surrogacy in Iran is also one of the methods of infertility treatment that is legally offered to eligible couples in Iran.
Due to the fact that the use of surrogacy is not legal in some countries, many infertile couples travel to other countries to receive this service. On the other hand, the cost of infertility treatment using a surrogate uterus is high in many countries. Therefore, choosing the right treatment destination is not an easy task for many couples.
Providing uterine surrogacy services in advanced fertility centers of Iran, under the supervision of experienced and skilled physicians and cost-effective costs has made Iran always the focus of many infertile couples seeking surrogacy.
The surrogate uterus is provided in Iran in compliance with all principles and standards. In such a way that the volunteer is selected from people who have a successful history of pregnancy and after various tests and ensuring physical and mental health, she is consulted legally to be aware of her obligations and duties. Finally, a contract is signed between the infertile couple and the person with the uterus. In this contract, the volunteer undertakes to take good care of the fetus and deliver the baby to its parents after birth. On the other hand, the infertile couple also undertakes to pay the wages of the unmarried person.
Cost of surrogacy in Iran
The surrogacy cost in Iran, including the cost of medication, tests, laboratory insemination, embryo transfer, and the cost of a contract with the owner of the uterus, is about $ 11,000.
Therefore, the cost of surrogacy treatment in Iran, like IVF in Iran is much lower than in countries such as the United States, Turkey, and Georgia.
You can contact us for fertility treatment in Iran, and to benefit from infertility treatment services using surrogacy in Iran.
We are by your side to embrace your beloved child.