IVF vs. Surrogacy | Differences between IVF & Surrogacy

In vitro fertilization and surrogacy are options intended for parents to pursue if natural fertilization, pregnancy, or both are difficult or impossible. These two processes are similar, but they have some notable differences.

IVF is a procedure that generates an embryo in a laboratory for implantation in a uterus. Surrogacy is a process that places an intended family’s embryo with a surrogate who carries and delivers the baby for them. Understanding the differences between these processes can help you determine what is best for your family.

What is IVF?

IVF is an assisted reproductive technique which takes sperm and eggs, combines them to form an embryo, and implants them in the uterus. While IVF treatment is a medical process performed by professionals in a lab, it produces a natural embryo exactly like the one that would develop inside the uterine wall.

How does the treatment process work?

In IVF, a health care professional retrieves mature eggs from the intended mother or an egg donor’s ovaries. they then pre-wash sperm from the intended father or a donor and use it to fertilize the eggs in the embryology laboratory.

Before or after fertilizing eggs to produce embryos, medical professionals use hormone replacement therapy to prepare the uterus for implantation. Hormone replacement therapy thickens the inner lining of the womb, preparing it for pregnancy.

Who needs IVF?

People usually need IVF if they are experiencing infertility or are in a same-sex relationship and want to have a baby. Heterosexual couples need IVF if they experience difficulties with natural pregnancy. Pregnancy can be difficult based on various factors, but a couple usually needs IVF if they have the right time. unprotected sex for one year without pregnancy.

Same-sex couples can choose reciprocal IVF if both partners want to participate in the pregnancy. In this process, a woman donates her eggs for fertilization, and her partner carries the baby.

What is surrogacy?

Surrogacy is when a woman agrees to become pregnant and give birth to another person’s child. A surrogate carries a baby to term and delivers it on behalf of someone else. In some cases, parents use surrogacy when the mother cannot carry a baby to full term or if the intended mother experiences serious medical complications or discomfort during pregnancy. In other cases, a couple or individual may choose surrogacy if they do not have a uterus.

Does surrogacy involve IVF?

Although it’s a different pregnancy journey, surrogacy takes IVF a few steps further, placing the embryo in the surrogate’s uterus instead of the intended mother’s. IVF creates an embryo for implantation, and the surrogate carries the baby until birth.

Because the IVF process usually uses the parents’ sperm and eggs, there is no genetic link between the baby and the surrogate. However, some parents use sperm or egg donation, which gives the baby unique DNA from the parents. A surrogate can only pass DNA to a child if he or she is also the egg donor.

Differences between surrogacy and IVF

IVF and surrogacy provide individuals and couples with medically assisted pregnancy options. While they use similar methods, the processes of IVF and surrogacy differ in the following ways.

IVF versus surrogacy success rate

The rate of having a healthy birth after IVF is about 75%, but this rate increases to 95% after an embryo is implanted in the surrogate’s uterus. In addition, IVF usually has a 52% success rate when using a donor egg, but using a surrogate for this process improves these possibilities.

IVF and surrogacy success rates may vary because a healthy delivery depends on factors such as infertility diagnosis, age, and previous pregnancies and miscarriages. Talk to a medical professional to determine how successful IVF can be for you. If you want to learn more about surrogacy success rates, a surrogacy agency can help you navigate the process.

Working with an agency that closely vets surrogates results in the best results because the company ensures that each surrogate is physically and mentally fit to carry a child. Although complications are possible for any pregnancy, a reputable surrogacy agency offers the highest success rate.

Additional support and legal considerations when using surrogacy

Surrogacy requires you to follow specific legal processes to reach a positive outcome. While IVF requires you to work closely with medical professionals, the surrogacy journey can include health professionals, surrogacy attorneys, and a surrogacy matching coordinator.

Enlisting the help of a surrogacy agency and law firm allows you to receive specialized support as you seek the most positive outcome possible. Surrogacy agencies evaluate surrogates and help you choose the best match for your family’s needs. With an experienced surrogacy attorney by your side, you can navigate the legal documents, planning, parental rights, and the potentially complex relationships that come with surrogacy.

IVF vs surrogacy cost

Because surrogacy requires more steps than IVF, it has a higher overall cost. However, the total price tag for an intended family varies as it depends on the following factors:

  • IVF medical costs
  • Applicable donor costs and fees
  • Pharmaceutical costs
  • Professional fees
  • Replacement compensation
  • Surrogacy program fees
  • Legal fees
  • Screening costs
  • Insurance

Although surrogacy has a high cost, there are different ways to finance this option. If you want to grow your family through surrogacy, consider looking into grants, loans, and fundraising to cover your costs. Some agencies also offer financial assistance through special discounts.

Is surrogacy better than IVF?

The choice between surrogacy and IVF is important for families in need of reproductive assistance. Although both processes often result in positive results, the right decision for your family depends on the following factors.

  • Reproductive conditions: Your reproductive condition may make surrogacy your only option if you don’t have a uterus or have a uterine abnormality that prevents you from carrying a baby to term.
  • Reproductive health: Reproductive health is another consideration when deciding between IVF and surrogacy. An intended mother may be able to carry a baby to term but is at increased risk for medical complications during pregnancy or delivery. For example, you may consider surrogacy if you experienced hyperemesis gravidarum in a previous pregnancy or have diabetes.
  • Mental health factors: A traumatic pregnancy or birth can cause some intended mothers to avoid becoming pregnant. Similarly, witnessing another person undergo a traumatic pregnancy or birth can cause pregnancy discomfort. In these situations, you can grow your family without living through the trauma. Surrogacy may be your best option if you have experienced childbirth complications in the past or have pregnancy scares.
  • Willingness to bring: IVF is an option if you can physically carry a baby to term and have a strong desire to experience pregnancy. However, surrogacy may be better if you prefer the freedom to focus on your career or want to maintain your current physique.
  • Finance: Since surrogacy costs more than IVF, your financial situation is a critical factor. Consider your household budget and what you can afford before deciding between IVF and surrogacy.

Continue your surrogacy journey with Creative Family Connections

IVF and surrogacy offer great alternative options for individuals and couples hoping to start or add to their families. Creative Family Connections offers screening, matching, support, and legal assistance for families pursuing surrogacy. If you believe surrogacy is right for your family, the compassionate CFC team can support you every step of the way or provide legal services for independent journeys. Contact us to learn more.

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