Gestational Carrier IVF

The last step in successful baby making, whether that be natural or with fertility treatments such as IVF, is for the embryo to implant in the uterus (womb). In most couples, even those with infertility, the ability of the uterus to allow an embryo to implant is not an issue. This could be due a missing uterus such as in women with Rokitansky syndrome or other genetic disorders, or from a prior hysterectomy. It can also be due to scar tissue within the uterus from prior surgeries. Still others will be unable to get pregnant or hold on to a pregnancy, despite having genetically normal embryos transferred back.

The treatment for these types of "uterine" issues would be using IVF with a gestational carrier. This is how a gestational carrier cycle works:

  1. Potential gestational carriers are recruited, screened and approved by an agency that specializes in this and which requires the use of specialized attorneys. This is a critical step since laws related to the legal status of children born from these cycles (including the parents listed on the birth certificate) differs from state to state. 
  2. The patient meets with the doctor and/or staff at the fertilty clinic where she undergoes any required testing and selects a carrier.
  3. The fertility clinic team will coordinate "dates" for the carrier and the (genetic and intended) mother and using medications such as leuprolide and birth control pills. The idea is to make sure when the patient's eggs are ready, the gestational carrier's uterus will be ready as well. While this may sound like a difficult process, it is not as complicated as it sounds.
  4. The patient will receive fertility injections to make the eggs grow, an hCG injection to force the eggs to release and an egg retrieval to harvest those eggs just before they are released.
  5. The embryos that result will be transferred to the carrier, and if successful, the carrier will give birth to the children of the intended parents.