Uterine factor is a well recognized cause of infertility. When a uterine problem is diagnosed to be severe and beyond repair (see below), couples may still conceive and have a child through gestational surrogacy. In gestational surrogacy, embryos are conceived with IVF using the intended parents' eggs and sperm, and then transferred into the gestational carrier's (gestational surrogate) uterus.
There are multiple indications for gestational surrogacy. Women who underwent a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) for benign indications often have intact ovaries and thus may only conceive via IVF and gestational surrogacy. Patients diagnosed with an irreparable uterine anomaly (due to in-utero DES exposure or other congenital abnormality) and recurrent pregnancy loss, may have a successful outcome with gestational surrogacy. Similarly, women in whom a pregnancy may be contraindicated (history of hormone responsive cancer, severe cardiopulmonary compromise, poor prior obstetrical outcome...) are excellent candidates for surrogacy. Additionally, gestational surrogacy, combined with egg donation, is a wonderful option for family building for gay men and couples.
The California Center for Reproductive Health is pleased to offer patients gestational surrogacy as an option to conceive. Prospective surrogates undergo a comprehensive history and physical evaluation at our Center to ensure safety for the pregnancy and surrogate. Additionally, every potential gestational carrier undergoes a thorough investigation of the uterine cavity prior to embryo transfer (sonohysterogram, hysterosalpingogram, and/or hysteroscopy), to confirm that embryos are being placed into a healthy environment.