The Physical and Emotional Risks of Surrogacy

By Dickson Osas

Surrogacy is quickly gaining popularity among the wealthy and those who are unable to conceive through traditional means.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogate is a modern way by which a fertile person carries and gives birth to a child on behalf of another person who may find it difficult or unable to conceive and give birth to a child; in surrogacy, an egg from a donor or the surrogate mother is fertilized with the sperm of the spouse of the father or the one from sperm donor to form an embryo which the surrogate mother carries till delivery. 

The surrogate mother does not usually have any genetic link to the child since the eggs fertilizing the baby do not belong to her.

Risks of surrogacy 

As much as surrogacy seems like a better solution to problems that have to do with childbearing and anything of the sort, it also has its numerous downside; many surrogacy mothers are unaware of the risks attached to being a surrogate mother until they have ventured into it.

Surrogacy might look like there is zero risk involved. However, the truth is, it’s not totally without risk, there is still a reduced amount of risk that can be encountered, and it’s important to discuss these risks so everyone knows the risks involved with surrogacy.

Some of the risks involve mental and medical risks; first, let’s discuss the medical risks of surrogacy.

Medical and Physical risks of being a surrogate

i.Complications: Aside from surrogacy, child bearing general comes with a lot of issues, and different people deal with pregnancy in different ways; just like every other pregnancy as a surrogate, you can experience anything from allergy to loss of energy, nausea, and losing the pregnancy, just because it is IVF does not mean the pregnancy can’t be lost or you won’t suffer any complication. 

However, giving birth as a surrogate can come with much more complications, and it’s important to know this before accepting to become a surrogate mother as it helps you make up your mind and be prepared for what is to come.

ii. Hypertension: with gestational surrogacy, several cases of hypertension have been reported coupled with a loss of fertility and preeclampsia; these are things you may not be able to find out by yourself, but doing your research will help you know about these things, and in the long run it will help in decision-making when planning on becoming a surrogate.

iii. DET:

This is known as double embryo transfer, sometimes to ensure greater chances of success, the doctors perform a DET, and with this, there is a greater chance of double or multiple embryos, which might result in twins or triplets; with this procedure, the surrogate body is put through extra stress and will have to go through all the pains of carrying more than one embryo at a time, some of the visible impacts of DET includes, stretch marks, protruding belly, swollen face and legs among other notable changes.

Mental risks of being a surrogate 

i. Depression: As a surrogate mother, there is a big chance of falling into depression during and after the period of pregnancy. This can happen for so many reasons; it might be due to a lack of emotional connection to the embryo, among many other factors.

ii. Anger: This can happen after childbirth since the surrogate mother wi have to relinquish the baby to the biological parents. Giving up the baby in that manner can result in anger, a sudden mood swing, and feeling of guilt

Reasons for using surrogates

The reasons for using a surrogate vary from a different person, but research has shown that every person that opts for a surrogate carrier does that to a solve a problem concerning childbearing; some of the most notable reasons why people choose surrogacy are highlighted below:

• Delicate condition: Some people settle for surrogates because of certain conditions that may render people too delicate to go through the stress of childbearing; a typical example of such a situation is very diseased.

• Hysterectomy: It is always difficult for someone who has undergone a hysterectomy or who has had their uterus removed to conceive or bear a child through the normal childbearing process.

• Other health conditions: several other health conditions may prevent someone from

m being able to get pregnant on their own and give birth to a child, these conditions contributed to some reasons why many people decided to go for surrogacy.

These points will go a long way in providing some helpful guide to anyone who might be planning to venture into surrogacy or serve as a surrogate mother to someone, all information and the risks involved are clearly stated above, and making use of it can help you have a solid preparation ahead of your surrogacy journey.