Gestational carrier programs thoroughly screen the carriers prior to accepting them into their pool of available carriers. However, this screening does not guarantee that the carrier will not have medical conditions. Below is a description of potential medical conditions involved in gestational carrier programs.
Common Pregnancy Conditions
The first type of medical conditions that may develop during the process are those that normally develop during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, as well as other conditions often befall pregnant woman. There is often no guarantee that an expectant woman will not develop these conditions, regardless of the extent of medical care. Fortunately, many conditions are manageable and will not affect the child. There are some conditions, though, that can cause serious injury or even death to both the carrier and the child.
Prior or Existing Medical Conditions
While programs would prefer carriers to not have any existing or previous medical conditions, it is almost impossible to find a woman that has not had some medical trouble at some point in her life. Because of this, programs often evaluate the severity of the disease, whether it is likely to reoccur during pregnancy if it is not a chronic condition, and whether the risk of the illness is worthwhile.
Prior or existing medical conditions that place the carrier or the child at significant risk will disqualify the carrier from the program. However, what is defined as a serious condition differs in each program. Prior to choosing a program or a carrier, inquire into the carrier’s medical health, ask to view records of her health, and discuss with the physician whether the present conditions, if any, may affect the fetus.
The Importance of Medication
Many times, a fetus is affected by the medication the expectant woman ingests during the pregnancy. Because of this, an otherwise irrelevant medical condition can be quite serious. If the condition will not put either the woman or the fetus at risk and the medication can be stopped (and will be completely eliminated from the carrier’s body), there is often no impediment to using the carrier. However, make sure to inquire into whether the medication will remain in the woman’s body and potentially h arm the fetus.
Disregarded Medical Conditions
Medical conditions that will not affect the child either by stopping treatment or because treatment is unnecessary are often permitted in most programs. Carriers with such conditions, though, should be required to cease medication during their participation in the program. An example of such a condition is overactive bladder. While this condition is treatable through medication, it is not necessary to be treated because it is more of an inconvenience than anything else. Moreover, once stopped, medications will not remain in the woman’s body.
However, conditions, such as diabetes, that must always be managed can become worse during pregnancy and most likely will affect the fetus. As such, a potential carrier with this condition should be rejected.