Embarking on the journey of surrogacy is a profound decision, and is often decided upon after many other fertility options have not delivered the desired result. It is a process that’s fraught with both hope and anticipation, and requires a significant amount of trust and dedication.
One pivotal consideration for those seeking the joys of parenthood through surrogacy is researching and understanding the surrogacy success rates, and what is realistic to expect when committing to this treatment option. In this comprehensive guide, we examine the intricacies of surrogate success rates, exploring the factors that shape them and offering valuable insights to empower intended parents on their unique path to building a family.
What are the success rates for surrogacy?
For intended families who are considering the path to surrogacy, here is some good news: surrogacy has an exceptionally high success rate with an average of about 75%, and once the gestational carrier is successfully pregnant, then the success rate for birth increases to about 95%. These rates are typically calculated based on the number of pregnancies or live births resulting from various surrogacy procedures. Of course, as with any fertility treatment, there are numerous factors involved.
Everything from the age of the gestational carrier, to the expertise of a surrogate agency, to even the reputation and results of an IVF clinic, plays an important part in the overall success of surrogacy. Which is why it’s so important to consider every angle, and have an in-depth understanding of the entire process, prior to committing to surrogacy.
How are surrogacy success rates determined?
The determination of surrogacy success rates involves a meticulous analysis of multifaceted variables, which are all taken into account by the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (or SART), the entity that publishes these findings. These variables encompass the age of individuals involved, the overall health of both parties, and the quality of reproductive materials, including eggs, sperm, and embryos.
Additionally, the success of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with a surrogate and the outcome of the embryo transfer, also play pivotal roles in shaping these rates. These rates are then determined based on the number of pregnancies or live births resulting from the various surrogacy treatments. So while the general consensus is that surrogacy is certainly a high-success-rate endeavor, any intended parents must look at their particular case and their determining variables, to try and predict a realistic outlook and the specific chances for them to grow their family.
What impacts surrogacy success rates?
As mentioned before, there are a number of factors that can impact success rates for surrogacy, and intended families must keep these in mind when committing to the surrogacy process. Surrogacy in and of itself consists of a multitude of parties that all play essential roles in determining the end goal – which is bringing a blessed baby into this world. But before getting there, the intended parents, the surrogate mother, the surrogate agency, as well as the IVF clinic, all must work together cohesively to make that dream come true.
Age and surrogacy success rates
Age emerges as a critical determinant of surrogacy success rates, both in surrogates and intended parents alike. Generally, younger surrogates exhibit higher success rates, attributed to a lower likelihood of complications and a higher probability of a healthy pregnancy. Likewise, the age of the woman involved in either utilizing or donating her eggs, is crucial in influencing the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy. In the context of surrogacy, this translates to a common scenario where egg donors are typically in their 20s, ensuring a higher probability of optimal egg quality. On the other hand, surrogates may extend into their early 40s. While a woman’s egg quality tends to decline after the age of 40, her capacity to carry a successful pregnancy remains unaffected. Depending on the intended mother’s age, she may choose to use her own eggs and undergo IVF, or may opt to use the services of an egg donor instead.
Environmental factors for surrogacy success
The emotional and mental environment in which the surrogate resides and spends her time in can significantly impact success rates, which is why a supportive, stress-free atmosphere can help contribute to a healthier pregnancy. Additionally, gestational surrogacy, like any pregnancy, is susceptible to the influence of environmental factors that may have adverse effects. These encompass exposure to various elements, including tobacco smoke, air pollution, heavy metals (such as lead found in drinking water), and radiation. These factors also collectively contribute to the nuanced landscape of surrogacy success rates. Intended parents and surrogates should both be aware of any possible aforementioned risks, and collaborate on creating an environment conducive to a successful surrogacy journey.
Egg, sperm, and embryo health
A surrogacy is only as successful as the sum of its parts, which is why the health and quality of reproductive materials significantly influence surrogacy success rates. Optimal egg and sperm quality, which will then hopefully yield the use of healthy embryos, contribute to a higher likelihood of a successful pregnancy. Prior to even attempting IVF, it is imperative that all parties involved – the intended parents, the surrogate, and any possible donors – are all properly screened and pre-tested, in order to determine the quality of sex gametes that will be utilized.
Can you improve your surrogacy success rate?
In the world of reproductive medicine, certain factors will always remain beyond control; however, prospective parents can take some proactive steps to enhance their surrogacy success rate. Given that a surrogate pregnancy represents the final stage in the frequently lengthy and anxiety-laden journey to parenthood, enhancing the quality of preceding steps can often translate to a more successful surrogacy. Of course, nothing is ever guaranteed, as reproductive medicine and the fertility treatments that comprise it are all highly complex and delicate procedures, but as long as intended parents have an expert support system of seasoned healthcare professionals to guide them, the chances of completing their family can increase substantially.
Tips to increase your chances for a successful surrogacy
Since surrogacy is the summation of many preceding steps beforehand, it makes sense that possibly improving those factors will then lead to a more favorable result. Everything should be taken into consideration – the viability of the eggs and the sperm, improving the quality of the embryos, and matching with a surrogate that is in optimal health. Having an expert team of reproductive medical professionals is always a plus as well. Along with a reputable surrogate agency, they will guide you in making decisions that will hopefully result in the best possible outcome for your intended family and your future baby.
If the intended parents are struggling to create viable embryos, and egg number or overall quality is an issue, the choice of egg donation is a great option to improve success rates. The surrogate can only be successful in her pregnancy if the initial embryo that’s implanted is of high quality. And if the eggs that were used in creating that embryo are not meeting the standards of optimal oocyte health, then egg donation should be highly considered. Whether using a live donor who will undergo egg retrieval in an IVF clinic, or purchasing eggs from an egg bank, egg donation is a valuable choice for any intended mother who is both 40 and beyond (the age of fertility decline), and is experiencing a significant challenge with obtaining high quality eggs from her own body. Additionally, egg donation can mitigate the risk of passing on genetic disorders to the baby. Thorough screening of egg donors ensures the health and genetic viability of the eggs, offering emotional reassurance to intended parents. Ultimately, the use of donor eggs enhances the overall feasibility and positive outcomes of the surrogacy process.
Of course, good-quality oocytes are only one part of the embryo-creating equation, which is why making sure that the sperm used in the IVF process is healthy and viable, is crucial. Before ever undergoing IVF, the sperm of the intended father is meticulously assessed through a series of tests. These tests, collectively known as a semen analysis, evaluate various factors crucial for successful fertilization. The examination includes assessing sperm count, motility (movement), morphology (shape), and other parameters.
A high-quality semen sample is essential for optimal chances of successful fertilization during IVF, and the creation of viable embryos for implantation. The screening process ensures that the sperm meets the necessary criteria for fertilizing an egg, contributing to the overall success of IVF, and ultimately surrogacy. The careful evaluation of sperm health plays a vital role in supporting the journey toward parenthood for those engaging in these assisted reproductive technologies. If for some reason the semen analysis indicates that the sperm falls short of the quality required for successful fertilization, intended families may opt for the use of a sperm donor.
A highly sought-after option to increase success rates for surrogacy, is to take advantage of advancements in ART (Assisted Reproductive Technologies) and the services they offer. For one, genetic testing of both the intended parents (or whoever is donating reproductive cells for fertilization) is paramount, to ensure that the sperm and eggs both aren’t carrying genetic mutations that can manifest in the embryo, and thus, future baby. Additionally, preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT, offers a comprehensive evaluation of embryos before implantation, ensuring the selection of those with the highest probability of successful development. This screening process can identify genetic abnormalities, reducing the risk of miscarriage and enhancing the overall health of the pregnancy.
Another ART service that can increase surrogacy success rates is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, which is a procedure that involves injecting sperm into a mature egg to assist in the fertilization process, instead of letting the sperm find the egg naturally. ICSI is particularly beneficial in cases where male infertility issues, such as low sperm count or poor sperm motility, may hinder the natural fertilization process. By directly introducing a sperm into the egg, ICSI increases the likelihood of successful fertilization, even in challenging conditions.
There are other ART services such as the Embryoscope (a time-lapse incubator) and Assisted Hatching (designed to help embryos “hatch out” of their “’shell”) that can help with a successful IVF and ultimately a confirmed surrogate pregnancy, but it’s imperative to discuss any and all options with your reproductive healthcare team. Whatever you decide as an intended family, the opportunities to improve your surrogacy success rates are certainly there, readily accessible for those who are seeking to enhance their journey towards parenthood.
One of the best ways to secure a successful surrogate pregnancy is to seek out a gestational carrier with prior experience in the process. Often referred to as “repeat surrogates,” these seasoned mothers possess invaluable familiarity with the intricate aspects of the surrogacy journey, and are incredibly sought after. What sets them apart is their track record of confirmed deliveries, offering prospective intended parents a reassurance and reliability when navigating the complexities of surrogacy. Repeat surrogates are well-versed in the medical protocols, emotional challenges, and legal intricacies of the entire process, offering a level of expertise that can contribute to a smoother and more successful surrogacy experience for all parties involved.
Successful IVF clinics and surrogate agencies
Lastly, behind every successful surrogate story is a team of experts who offered unparalleled knowledge and support along the way. Expert surrogate agencies (such as Surrogacy by Faith) and reputable IVF clinics both play a pivotal role in implementing all the intricate steps leading to and within surrogacy, ensuring that the journey is guided by experienced professionals. These agencies meticulously match intended parents with qualified surrogates, taking into account compatibility and legal considerations. At the same time, IVF clinics bring in their medical know-how, managing the fertilization and embryo transfer processes – as well as any additional ART services. With these experts working together, surrogacy becomes less complicated, increasing the chances of a successful and fulfilling journey towards parenthood.
A successful surrogacy journey with Surrogacy by Faith
Every successful surrogacy journey begins with one goal in mind – to bring a beautiful baby home and fulfill a lifelong dream of completing one’s family. And this goal becomes even more attainable when a notable surrogate agency characterized by shared values takes the lead, equipped with knowledge, support, and a shared objective. At Surrogacy by Faith, we believe in bringing the God-given gift of parenthood to every hopeful family. Our dedicated surrogacy professionals (many of them former gestational carriers who have walked the path themselves), bring an unparalleled understanding and empathy to the intricate process. Their firsthand knowledge allows them to provide comprehensive guidance, address concerns with genuine empathy, and navigate potential challenges with wisdom.
Embarking on a surrogacy journey is a monumental decision, and understanding the intricacies of success rates is fundamental. By considering all the nuanced factors outlined in this guide and partnering with a reputable agency like Surrogacy by Faith, intended parents can significantly enhance their chances of a successful surrogacy experience.
If you’re ready to take this blessed journey with us, fill out our intended parents form, and let us bring you closer to the dream of a complete and blessed family.