A gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate mother, is the person who will carry a baby for a couple who cannot otherwise have a baby. The genetic material will be taken from the couple, and the gestational carrier will offer her body to host the embryo and deliver the baby. A gestational carrier (GC) should meet certain requirements, and there is a thorough screening process to choose the most suitable candidates.
Who Can Be a GC
Any woman can become a gestational carrier, but typically, women under the age of 35 are favored. Women who are considering being a GC can apply at a fertility clinic. There will be a lengthy screening process, and if the woman has good test results, she will be approved as a GC. If the GC has a partner, he will also have to undergo a few tests.
The Screening Process for the GC
The GC screening process will be done at a fertility clinic. The woman will go through a number of medical tests and other types of examinations to ensure that she can carry a baby with no complications. GCs under the age of 35 will be preferred, but there may be older GCs that are healthy and can be a great carrier for an infertile couple.
Before any tests are done, the potential GC’s medical and family history will be examined. It is important to know that the GC doesn’t have an illness that may be harmful for the baby. Genetic diseases in the family should be detected, as these can affect the baby.
The woman will then undergo a thorough physical examination, to make sure there are no defects that could be possibly transmitted to the baby. The woman will also have to be evaluated psychologically. If the woman suffers from depression or other mental problems, she is not a good candidate for GC.
The prospective GC will also have to give a few blood samples, to make sure she is not affected by HIV, hepatitis or other STDs that could endanger the embryo. If the woman has Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, these could affect the normal development of the fetus. Last but not least, the woman’s uterus has to be examined, to make sure it will be a good home for the embryo.
Tests for the GC’s Partner
The GC’s partner will have to be tested for a number of diseases such as:
This will make sure the GC will not be infected during pregnancy.
The Gestational Carrier Program
The gestational carrier program will involve an infertile couple that requires a GC to carry the embryo, which is obtained in vitro using eggs and sperm from the infertile couple. The GC will be only the vessel for the embryo.
It is highly important that the GC is in full health, to make sure the gestational carrier program has high chances of success.