The journey of surrogacy pregnancy has many challenges. The knowledge of these challenges helps women to decide and continue the surrogacy program. Surrogacy is not only to carry a baby for someone else, but it has similar physical and mental changes associated with a natural pregnancy.
In addition, IVF treatment and legal procedures are extra challenges in surrogacy. Following are some general challenges usually common in case of a gestational carrier, but it is always suggested that surrogate should discuss with a surrogacy agency and consult with experts regarding the individual challenges depending upon the personal health risk along financial and emotional defies.
Medical challenges associated with surrogacy
Carrying a fetus and successfully deliver a healthy child after completion of the whole term is a big physical challenge for surrogacy. Almost one year time period surrogate need to give and attain all medical procedures involve in surrogacy.
The symptoms of pregnancy including nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, backache weight gain, indigestion and swelling of hand and feet are common in surrogacy. Even some surrogates also develop hypertension, gestational diabetes, and reproductive organ damage.
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IVF related fertility treatment can create extra physical challenges in the surrogacy journey. Administration of fertility medicine containing injections for regulating the menstrual cycle can cause many side effects depending upon individual physical health.
Surrogate can experience abrasion at the site of injection or even mild allergic reaction. Some surrogate also complaint frequent headache and mood swing issue due to pre-menstrual syndrome development. Consult with a doctor to control or minimize the symptoms.
Embryo transfer process also has some mild health risks, such as abdominal cramp, vaginal bleeding due to the procedure and even can cause mild infection. Medical consultation and immediate treatment are very important in such cases.
The chances of multiple births are higher in surrogacy. Therefore, the risk associated with multiple births may twins or triplet pregnancy causes premature delivery, low birth weight, abruption of placenta and Cesarean-section delivery are common.
Medical supervision and follow-up with regular interval are essential to reduce the risk. Doctors usually provide instruction for multiple birth restriction guidance, surrogate need to follow all the instruction strictly to reduce the maternal and child health risk.
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Surrogacy agency also strictly follow the medical screening process before commencing the surrogacy procedure to confirm the complete well-being of the surrogate. These screening test can help to assess the challenges in surrogacy for an individual candidate.
In case of higher risks, the surrogacy agency cancels her name from the surrogate list to avoid unnecessary complications.
Emotional challenges also a considerable factor for a potential surrogate. In the case of surrogacy, after close contact with fetus for nine months, an emotional bonding usually develops between the surrogate and the offspring. After delivery, gifting the child to intended parent is a big emotional challenge for a surrogate.
During and after completion of surrogacy, surrogate often has a complaint about chronic depression. Consultation with a mental health professional is essential to overcome the emotional challenges and to cope up with regular life after delivering the child.
In addition, support from family members and intended parents is essential to continue to stress-free gestational period. Overburden of work can cause stress build up and which can be harmful to the surrogate. Therefore, not only surrogate alone, it is a team effort which helps to release emotional challenges.
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It is always appreciated when a surrogate overcome these challenges and enthusiastically complete her job with the selfless gifting of a baby to an infertile couple or individual who eagerly waits to start a family is a feeling of out of the world.
Ravi Sharma is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). And a successful pharmacist and a marketer. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate and M.B.A (marketing).