The gestational carrier programs are helpful for couples that fail to conceive due to the absence of the uterus or the incapacity of the woman to carry a baby. The gestational carrier program has several stages, and the egg retrieval is highly important. The egg will be retrieved from the mother’s ovaries, fertilized in vitro, and will be transferred into the uterus of a surrogate mother.
The Gestational Carrier Program
The gestational carrier program is recommended for couples that cannot produce a baby due to the absence or damage of the uterus in the woman. However, the woman should have healthy ovaries and produce eggs. The program is not suitable for women that don’t have viable eggs.
The fetus will be carried by a surrogate mother, but the eggs and the sperm will be taken from the partners. The gestational carrier, or the surrogate mother, will be chosen by the couple.
The egg retrieval is the stage following the stage that makes sure cycle of the biological mother and the surrogate are synchronized. It is also important to stimulate the ovaries, so that there will be mature eggs to extract. Hormones may be administered through injections. When the hormonal levels are high and the fertility doctor establishes the eggs are ready for retrieval, the procedure will be scheduled.
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, as it may cause discomfort otherwise. The egg retrieval is done with the use of a needle, which will aspirate the eggs from the ovaries. The needle will be introduced in the vagina and will be guided by ultrasounds or a camera that will give the doctor the exact paths to follow to avoid any damage in the area.
The entire procedure takes up to 15 minutes.
Ovarian hemorrhage is the only possible complication after the egg retrieval procedure. This happens if the ovary is injured while attempting to aspirate the liquid from the ovaries. Even though this is a common complication, an experienced fertility doctor should be able to perform the egg retrieval without any complications.
The success rates of egg retrieval are high, with over 90% of cases being successful. However, it is highly important that the other stages of the gestational carrier program are successful as well, so that the result will be a healthy pregnancy.
After the Egg Retrieval
The following stage after the egg retrieval is the fertilization of the egg, which will be done using a sperm sample from the father. The egg should be fertilized within the first 36 hours after the retrieval; otherwise, the chances of fertilization decrease dramatically.
If the fertilization happens, the embryo will be transferred into the uterus of the surrogate mother. Not all embryos will result in babies, but the success rates of the gestational carrier programs are on the rise. If the first cycle fails, it may be repeated as many times as needed.