Surrogate Health Requirements and FAQs [Why they’re Important]
Medical Screening for Surrogacy and Your Health History
As a prospective surrogate, you must meet specific health requirements for surrogacy during the screening process before moving forward with an intended family.
- Meeting all health requirements gives you the best chance at a successful gestational pregnancy
- Intended parents cannot afford to take the risk of working with a surrogate that doesn’t meet all health requirements
- Surrogacy agencies are tasked with mitigating risks for both you and the intended parents
Before we dig into the health requirements to be a surrogate mother and the medical screening process, you can get connected to a surrogacy specialist by completing this online form. Information on the various medical conditions and how they impact surrogacy health requirements are just a click away.
As you continue reading, you’ll find a complete guide to health requirements to be a surrogate, what to expect during the screening process and a frequently asked questions section addressing various health conditions.
Disclaimer: This article is only meant to provide general information and is not a substitute for qualified medical advice. Talk to your doctor about your specific health history to learn whether surrogacy might be a possibility in your situation.
To become a surrogate, it’s vital that you meet all requirements before a surrogacy agency can move forward with matching you with intended parents and start the medical process.
Find out whether you meet the following surrogacy health requirements.
Surrogacy Health Requirements & Medical Screening
The medical screening process and the health and medical requirements to be a surrogate are essential to determining whether you’re a qualified candidate for surrogacy.
The specific health requirements to be a surrogate may differ from agency to agency, but generally will include the following:
- A healthy BMI
- Between the ages of 21-40
- At least one previous successful pregnancy
- No major complications from previous pregnancies
- No untreated STDs
- No smoking, drug use or exposure to second-hand smoke
- No use of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications for the last 12 months
- And more
You can find out if you meet the basic surrogacy health requirements by reaching out to a surrogacy specialist. Ensuring that you are healthy and prepared for gestational surrogacy is the first significant step in the surrogacy process.
In terms of the medical screening process, which will determine whether you meet the health requirements to be a surrogate, you can expect to take part in the following:
- Provide your medical history information – You’ll be required to provide your personal information, personal health history and family medical history.
- Review of medical records –. You’ll need to grant your surrogacy agency access to medical records for a complete review of past pregnancies to confirm your health history.
- Psychological screening – Being mentally fit and prepared for gestational surrogacy is as important as being physically fit. A complete psychological screening will help determine whether or not you’re ready for the emotional challenges of pregnancy and surrogacy.
- Medical screening – As previously stated, you’ll participate in a full medical screening before matching with intended parents, which will include a physical exam, bloodwork and a recommendation from your OB-GYN. Additionally, you may be required to complete a second medical screening with the intended parents’ fertility clinic before your legal surrogacy contracts are signed.
Once you’ve met all surrogacy health requirements and completed the full medical screening process, your surrogacy specialist will approve you for moving forward in the surrogacy process.
At that point, you would begin the surrogacy medical process at a fertility clinic. You can find a complete guide to the medical process for surrogates by taking this link.
Don’t forget to reach out to a surrogacy specialist with any questions about the medical and health requirements to be a surrogate mother.
Next, you can find more information on specific health conditions and how they impact becoming a surrogate.
Surrogacy Health Conditions FAQ
Meeting the surrogacy health requirements depends on your medical background. Surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics can vary in specific requirements, but typically the most reputable professionals require you to meet the same set of health requirements to be a surrogate mother.
This section will address specific health conditions and how they impact your ability to meet surrogacy health requirements.
Remember, a surrogacy specialist is just a click away. You can get all of your frequently asked surrogacy questions answered and determine if you meet the health requirements to be a surrogate.
Can I be a surrogate with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?
A PCOS diagnosis can cause risks to gestational surrogacy. Speak to your doctor or a fertility specialist to determine whether being a surrogate with PCOS is possible in your case.
Can a female with adenomyosis be a surrogate?
Adenomyosis causes endometrial tissue to grow into the uterus’s muscle layers, making implantation of an embryo in gestational surrogacy difficult. Speak to your doctor to find out if treatment can help you meet the medical requirements to be a surrogate.
Can a woman with Huntington’s disease be a surrogate?
Unfortunately, because HD is a “dominant” condition with no treatable cure, it may be difficult for you to cope with surrogacy’s potential psychological and emotional challenges.
As an adult with HD, you may not meet the health requirements to be a surrogate, but we encourage you to speak with your doctor or a fertility specialist to get more information.
In gestational surrogacy, you have no genetic link to the child, so there isn’t the same risk of passing HD on to the baby. However, protecting you against any psychological or emotional difficulties during pregnancy and surrogacy is a top priority for everyone involved.
Can cancer patients be a surrogate?
A cancer survivor can sometimes become a surrogate. However, it would depend on the type of cancer and whether taking hormonal medications for in vitro fertilization (IVF) would increase the risk of your cancer coming back.
To meet the health requirements to be a surrogate mother, you need to get additional clearance from your Oncologist and maternal-fetal medicine specialist.
Can someone with sickle cell be a surrogate?
Because sickle cell can cause health complications during pregnancy and treatments are similar to those for leukemia and lymphoma patients, it’s too dangerous to become a gestational surrogate. In most cases, this will disqualify you from meeting surrogate health requirements.
Can you be a surrogate with diabetes?
In most cases, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes would disqualify you from becoming a surrogate because of the potential difficulty and danger of managing blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
Suppose you have a history of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. In that case, you should speak to your doctor or fertility specialist about the potential for surrogacy and whether it’s a safe option for you.
Can I be a surrogate after tubal ligation?
Yes, you can be a surrogate with your tubes tied.
In fact, tubal ligation is considered an advantage to having a successful gestational surrogacy.
By halting ovulation and preventing you from becoming pregnant with your own egg during fertility medication protocol and the embryo transfer process, your uterus and body are better prepared to be a gestational carrier.
Tubal ligation also means you have completed your own family, which helps with the emotional aspect of carrying a child for another family.
It’s important to note that while some professionals prefer a surrogate with a tubal ligation, you will still need to meet all of the health requirements to be a surrogate.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
When it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and STDs, it is another situation where it depends on the type of infection.
If you’re a prospective HIV-positive surrogate mother, you will not meet surrogate health requirements, as the baby could contract the infection during birth.
If you’re wondering, “Can you be a surrogate mother with herpes?” or “Can I be a surrogate mother with HPV?” yes, you may still be able to become a surrogate, although there is the chance that you may have to have a cesarean section to prevent transmission to the baby.
You can always get more information about becoming a surrogate with an STI and meeting medical requirements to be a surrogate by completing this online form. A surrogacy professional can answer all of your important questions.
Past Pregnancy Complications
Pregnancy complications are wide-ranging. In most cases, it’s best to speak to your doctor or a fertility specialist to find out whether you would meet the health requirements to be a surrogate.
Here are common questions surrogacy specialists get from prospective surrogates with past pregnancy complications:
- Can you be a surrogate after preeclampsia? – Preeclampsia is a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and can be dangerous for both you and the baby. It also puts you into a high-risk pregnancy category, and because it can potentially happen again, it would likely disqualify you from becoming a surrogate.
- Can you be a surrogate after ablation? – Because an ablation destroys the thin layer of lining in the uterus, implantation of an embryo would be unsuccessful and increase the risk of miscarriage. Unfortunately, most fertility clinics would disqualify you from becoming a surrogate.
- Surrogacy with endometriosis – Since endometriosis makes becoming pregnant more difficult and increases your chances of miscarriage, it’s best to speak to your doctor about the prospect of having a successful gestational surrogacy.
- Choosing surrogacy after a hysterectomy – Gestational surrogacy after removing the uterus in a hysterectomy procedure would disqualify you from becoming a surrogate. (On the other hand, if you are interested in becoming a mother after hysterectomy, working with a surrogate could be a great option for you! Contact a surrogacy professional today to learn more).
- Can you be a surrogate if you’ve had a C-section? – While a previous C-section does not automatically disqualify you, a surrogacy agency and fertility clinic may put a limit on the number of C-sections you’ve had.
Because intended parents want to work with surrogates that give them the best chance at a healthy pregnancy and surrogacy journey, professionals typically look for candidates with no or minimal past pregnancy complications.
The best course of action is to speak to a surrogacy specialist about what pregnancy conditions disqualify you from surrogacy.
Can I be a surrogate after menopause?
Most women experience menopause after the age of 40. Typically, surrogacy professionals suggest surrogates have an age range of 21-40 for meeting health requirements to be a surrogate mother.
How many times can you be a surrogate?
Most surrogacy professionals will follow the guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), which suggests surrogates have no more than five vaginal deliveries or four C-sections, including the births of their own children.
Your situation will determine the number of times you can be a gestational surrogate, so consult your doctor to decide what’s best for you.
I’m breastfeeding, can I be a surrogate?
You will need to stop breastfeeding and return to your regular menstrual cycle before becoming a surrogate.
Doctors need to synchronize and control your cycle as a surrogate, and the production of hormones when breastfeeding causes a lack of ovulation and periods that make this process very difficult.
You can still apply for surrogacy while weaning off breastfeeding since the screening process to ensure you meet surrogacy health requirements can take several months.
BMI requirements for surrogacy
Surrogate BMI is important to have a successful pregnancy and surrogacy journey. Pregnancy when you’re overweight or too thin presents risks to you and the baby.
Typically, surrogacy professionals and fertility clinics require you to have a BMI between 19 and 32.
You can always speak to a surrogacy specialist to ask, “How do I become a surrogate with a high BMI?” You can also start a personal wellness regimen to increase your nutritional health and incorporate exercise into your routine to lower your BMI into a health zone.
Can I be a surrogate if I have depression?
Pregnancy and surrogacy’s psychological and emotional challenges require a screening to determine that you are ready for the surrogacy process.
If your depression has been treated and is manageable, you can likely still become a surrogate.
Can I be a surrogate if I take anti-depressants?
Unfortunately, surrogacy professionals and fertility clinics require you to be off of anti-depressants for at least 12 months before starting the surrogacy process.
So, you would not be qualified to become a surrogate while on anti-depressants.
It’s crucial that you meet all health requirements before continuing on with the surrogacy process. Your surrogacy agency prioritizes your health and safety and will never put your health at risk.
To get more information on the health requirements to become a surrogate, remember to speak to a surrogacy professional today by completing this online form.
Your decision to carry a child for another family is admirable, but it’s vital that you determine whether you meet the specific health requirements to ensure you have the best chance at a healthy pregnancy and the experience you desire.
Ready to get started? Contact a surrogacy agency now to get free information.