Surrogacy has become an increasingly popular option for individuals and couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. It offers hope and the possibility of building a family when other methods have not been successful. One important aspect to consider when considering surrogacy is understanding the success rates and statistics associated with this assisted reproductive technology.
Successful Surrogacy Rates and Statistics
It is important to note that successful surrogacy for intended parents can vary depending on several factors, including those mentioned above. Additionally, success rates can vary across different regions and clinics. While it is challenging to provide exact numbers, here are some general insights into surrogacy success rates:
Successful Pregnancy Rates:
The pregnancy success rate per embryo transfer in gestational surrogacy ranges from 30% to 60%. The success rates may be higher when using younger and healthy surrogates. Approximately 2% of babies born in the United States were conceived using assisted reproductive technology. Success rates vary but are closely correlated with the quality of the eggs and embryos. PGT- tested embryos have a live birth rate of 75-80%. When the egg donor is over the age of 40, success rates can be as low as 5% depending on the quality.
Surrogacy, particularly when using multiple embryos, can have higher rates of multiple births compared to natural conception. The risk of twins or higher-order multiple pregnancies depends on the number of embryos transferred and the decisions made during the fertility treatment process.
Studies have shown that the pregnancy rates with single embryo (SET) are comparable to those with multiple embryo transfers. This is due to advancements in assisted reproductive technologies and a better understanding of embryo selection and implantation.
Over the years, there have been significant improvements in embryo selection techniques, such as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), which allows for the identification of the healthiest embryos with the highest chances of successful implantation. By selecting the best-quality embryo for transfer, the success rates can be maximized with a single embryo. One of the main advantages of transferring a single embryo is the avoidance of multiple pregnancies, which carry higher risks for both the carrier and the babies. Multiple pregnancies increase the likelihood of complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, and other medical issues. By limiting the number of embryos transferred, the focus is on achieving a healthy singleton pregnancy. Transferring multiple embryos increases the risk of multiple gestational complications, including miscarriage, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean section. By opting for a single embryo transfer, these risks can be significantly reduced, promoting a safer and healthier pregnancy.
Understanding the statistics and success rates associated with surrogacy is important, but it is equally crucial to approach the process with realistic expectations. Each individual’s or couple’s journey is unique, and success rates can vary based on personal circumstances.
Factors on Surrogacy Success Rates and Their Impact on a Successful Surrogacy Journey:
Advanced maternal age can impact the success rates of surrogacy just as it does with natural pregnancies. Both the intended parents and the surrogate’s age can play a role in the outcome. Surrogates must be 21 years old and the maximum age to become a surrogate is usually in the range of 40 to 45 years old, although this can vary. The upper age limit is often based on medical considerations, such as the ability to carry a healthy pregnancy and the increased risks associated with pregnancy at older ages. Some IVF clinics will approve older surrogates if they are in excellent health and a direct family member of an Intended Parent.
The medical history of the intended parents and the surrogate is crucial. Pre-existing health conditions, previous pregnancy complications, and underlying genetic factors can affect the success of surrogacy.
There are several medical conditions that may exclude a woman from becoming a surrogate. These conditions are typically considered for the safety and well-being of both the surrogate and intended parents. It’s important to note that the specific medical criteria and exclusions can vary by fertility clinic. The following list provides a general overview of medical conditions that may result in exclusion from surrogacy or cause surrogacy success rates to be greatly reduced:
Surrogates are generally required to have a healthy reproductive system. Medical conditions that affect the uterus, such as uterine anomalies, significant uterine scarring, or uterine fibroids, may make a woman ineligible to be a surrogate. These conditions can lead to infertility issues or impact the ability to carry a pregnancy to term successfully.
Chronic Health Conditions:
Certain chronic health conditions may pose risks to both the surrogate and the pregnancy. Examples include uncontrolled diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, or significant thyroid dysfunction. These conditions can increase the chances of complications during pregnancy and may be grounds for exclusion.
Surrogates must be free of certain infectious diseases that can pose risks to the pregnancy or the baby. Examples include HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, active tuberculosis, syphilis, and other transmissible infections. These conditions may disqualify a woman from becoming a surrogate due to the potential health risks involved. This is mainly for disease control and prevention for the baby and surrogate mother.
Mental Health Conditions:
The mental well-being of the surrogate is crucial throughout the surrogacy journey. Severe mental health conditions, such as untreated or uncontrolled psychiatric disorders, may exclude a woman from becoming a surrogate. This is to ensure that the surrogate can handle the emotional aspects and potential stress associated with the process.
Substance Abuse or Addiction Impacts Surrogacy:
History of substance abuse or addiction may disqualify a woman from becoming a surrogate. It is essential for surrogates to have a stable and healthy lifestyle, free from substance abuse, to ensure the safety and well-being of the pregnancy.
Excessive weight or obesity can increase the risks associated with pregnancy, such as diabetes in the gestational carrier, hypertension, and complications during childbirth. Fertility clinics follow specific guidelines regarding body mass index (BMI) limits to ensure the surrogate’s health and reduce potential risks.
Fertility Treatments Used:
The type of fertility treatment used, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can influence the success rates. Factors like the quality of the embryos, the method of embryo transfer, and the expertise of the fertility clinic or reproductive specialist also play a significant role in producing a healthy baby during the surrogacy process.
Proper nutrition is crucial to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Surrogacy, like any other pregnancy, requires that the pregnant woman pay attention to dietary needs and restrictions. She may need to take prenatal vitamins or limit certain foods during pregnancy.
Gestational surrogacy is subject to the same environmental factors that can affect any pregnancy. Factors such as exposure to tobacco, illegal drugs, air pollution, lead poisoning in drinking water, radiation, cleaning agents, pesticides, and harmful fumes. Whenever possible, measures are taken to minimize exposure to harmful environmental factors and promote a safe and healthy pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it is important for surrogates to prioritize the health and safety of both themselves and the developing baby. Engaging in certain activities that pose a higher risk of injury or complications should be avoided. Those include participating in contact sports such as football, soccer, basketball, or hockey can increase the risk of falls, collisions, and abdominal trauma. These activities can potentially harm the developing baby or lead to injuries for the surrogate. Activities that involve jumping, bouncing, or sudden movements, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), heavy weightlifting, or intense aerobic workouts, can put excessive strain on the abdominal muscles. Engaging in activities that have a high risk of falling, such as skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, rollerblading, or certain water sports, should be avoided during a surrogacy pregnancy. Falls can result in injuries to the surrogate and potentially harm the developing baby. Scuba diving poses risks due to the increased pressure and changes in oxygen levels underwater. The compressed air used in scuba diving can lead to decompression sickness, which can be harmful to both the surrogate and the baby. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, such as in hot tubs, saunas, or hot baths, can elevate the body temperature and potentially harm the developing baby.
Frequently Asked Questions about Success Rates of Surrogacy and Factors that may Affect the Surrogacy Journey:
Does age affect surrogacy success rates?
Advanced maternal age can impact the success rates of surrogacy, just as it does with natural pregnancies. Both the intended parents and the surrogate’s age play a role in the outcome. Surrogates must be at least 21 years old, and generally younger than 40 to 45 years old, although this can vary. Older age may increase the risks associated with pregnancy and affect success rates.
What medical conditions may exclude a woman from becoming a surrogate?
Several medical conditions may greatly reduce surrogacy success rates. These include chronic health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease, infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS or hepatitis, mental health conditions, substance abuse or addiction history, and significant obesity.
How do fertility treatments and embryo quality impact success rates?
The type of fertility treatment used, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can influence the success rates. Factors like the quality of the embryos, the method of embryo transfer, and the expertise of the fertility clinic or reproductive specialist also play a significant role.
What environmental factors can affect surrogacy success?
Surrogacy is subject to the same environmental factors that can affect any pregnancy. Exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollution, lead poisoning, radiation, cleaning agents, pesticides, and harmful fumes can potentially impact surrogacy success rates.
What risky activities should surrogates avoid during pregnancy to increase the success rate?
Surrogates should avoid engaging in activities that pose a higher risk of injury or complications. These include contact sports, high-intensity workouts, activities with a high risk of falling, scuba diving, and prolonged exposure to high temperatures in hot tubs or saunas.
Does transferring multiple embryos increase the chances of a surrogacy pregnancy?
No! Advancements in assisted reproductive technologies and better understanding of embryo selection and implantation have shown that transferring a single embryo can be as successful as transferring multiple embryos. By selecting the best-quality embryo for transfer through techniques like preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), the chances of successful implantation and a healthy pregnancy are maximized. Single embryo transfer reduces the risks associated with multiple pregnancies, such as complications and premature birth.
What are the general surrogacy success rates?
The pregnancy success rate per embryo transfer in gestational surrogacy ranges from 30% to 60%. However, success rates can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the eggs and embryos, the age and health of the surrogate, and the expertise of the fertility clinic. It’s important to approach surrogacy with realistic expectations and understand that individual circumstances can affect success rates.
Always consult with a qualified fertility specialist or reproductive clinic to obtain personalized information and guidance specific to your situation.