Are you thinking about becoming a gestational surrogate? Are you wondering if it’s the right choice for you? It certainly takes a special kind of woman to take on such a monumental task, but the fulfillment and personal reward can be very profound.
However, complications during the pregnancy can occur. As a result, there are certain factors that can disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. Some of them can be reversed, some can’t. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know and answer your most frequently asked questions.
To learn more, make sure you also check out our related blog post: What Are The Requirements For Becoming A Surrogate?
What Medical Conditions Will Disqualify Me From Being A Surrogate?
There are certain medical conditions that will disqualify you from becoming a surrogate, including:
- Diabetes. Both Type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes can cause serious complications during pregnancy.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women who suffer from PCOS are at a greater risk of developing preeclampsia or endometrial cancer.
- Endometriosis. This condition can cause infertility, so it will disqualify you from the surrogacy process.
- HIV and hepatitis B or C. These are all incurable viral infections that can be passed to the baby.
- Lack of a uterus or hysterectomy. The surrogate must have a healthy uterus in order to get pregnant during the embryo implantation process.
Unfortunately, these are definite, “strong” disqualifications. Plus, most of these are not reversible and – in some cases – can’t even be treated.
However, if you suffered from gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, there’s still a chance that you could become a surrogate, but you’ll need to have the condition well-managed and under control. This means that during screening you’ll have normal A1c and fasting glucose tests.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Have Anxiety Or Depression?
This is a tricky question, because sometimes everyone feels “blue” or anxious. However, if you have serious clinical depression or anxiety disorder, then you can’t become a surrogate.
This is because antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can harm the fetus. In fact, most surrogacy agencies require that you’ve been off these medications for at least 6 months before beginning the surrogacy journey.
However, if you have a history of depression or anxiety but now have the conditions under control without the use of medications, then you could still become a surrogate. Just make sure you are 100% honest and transparent during the screening – this is an important part of the surrogacy process to keep you and the baby safe.
How Many Previous C-Sections Will Disqualify Me?
You can still become a surrogate if you’ve undergone a C-section, but each repeat C-section becomes more complicated than the one before. However, researchers haven’t yet agreed on how many total C-sections are safe.
With most surrogacy agencies, having multiple previous C-sections will disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. This will vary from case to case, but it’s usually no more than two. Some agencies will accept a candidate who’s had three prior C-sections if the pregnancies went smoothly.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I’ve Had My Tubes Tied?
Also known as tubal ligation, getting your tubes tied is common, especially for women who already have kids. It’s a form of permanent birth control, so you probably think that you can’t become a surrogate after the procedure.
That’s not true! You can totally become a surrogate after having your tubes tied. It’s important to remember that a gestational surrogate isn’t genetically related to the child, so her eggs are not needed for the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure. Instead, you only need to have a healthy and functioning uterus.
Can I Be A Surrogate If I Have Herpes Or HPV?
Yes, absolutely! Neither herpes nor human papillomavirus (HPV) cause complications during the pregnancy and are only very rarely transmitted to the baby. As long as the conditions are properly managed, there shouldn’t be any issues.
However, if you suffer an outbreak of genital herpes or genital warts (caused by the HPV) before the delivery, then you may need to have a C-section in order to protect the baby.
Can I Be A Surrogate While I’m Breastfeeding?
Unfortunately, no you can’t. This is because breastfeeding stops a woman’s periods, so it temporarily disrupts her fertility. If you’re about to undergo embryo implantation to become pregnant, you’ll have to stop breastfeeding. However, you’ll probably be allowed to keep breastfeeding during the application and screening process.
Are There Any Potential Disqualifications That I Can Change?
There are other factors that can potentially disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. However, unlike the medical conditions that we listed at the beginning, these are lifestyle factors that you could potentially reverse with treatment or different choices.
Let’s take a look at the most common reversible disqualifications:
- Alcohol or drug use. You have to abstain from all alcohol or drug use during the fertility treatments and pregnancy.
- Tobacco use. If you smoke or live with a smoker, then you can’t become a surrogate mother.
- Unhealthy body mass index (BMI). You need to have a healthy BMI, usually from 19 to around 30.
- Risky lifestyle. You need to live in a healthy environment and refrain from behavior that might injure the fetus.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Certain STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be transmitted to the baby, so you’ll need to get treatment before surrogacy.
- Too young. Most agencies have a minimum age of 21 or 22, so if you’re too young you’ll have to wait a few years. The maximum age is usually 40 to 45.
- Lack of citizenship or legal residency. Most agencies require the surrogate mother to be either a US citizen or legal resident.
- New piercings or tattoos. You can’t have any new piercings or tattoos within one year of becoming a surrogate.
- No previous pregnancy. To qualify for surrogacy, you need to have at least one successful pregnancy with no or minimal complications.
If you’re preparing to become a surrogate, then you’ll need to be aware of these disqualifications.
Become A Surrogate With Surrogacy By Faith
“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (Proverbs 31:29)
Make no mistake, becoming a surrogate is a huge responsibility. But at the end of the process, you’ll be giving the gift of a new family to the intended parents. It’s an incredible act of kindness and courage, but it’s extra important that you find the right surrogacy agency.
This will make your journey much more rewarding and fulfilling. Surrogacy By Faith is a California-based agency that prides itself on providing the most supportive and nurturing environment to our surrogates. We take the extra time to match you with the perfect intended parents so that the interpersonal connections run deeper than at other surrogacy agencies.
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate with us, please be sure to fill out our Surrogate Initial Inquiry form. There’s no need to wait another day!