12 Questions You Have About Surrogate Health Requirements [“Can I Be a Surrogate If…”]

Because the health and safety of you and the baby will be the top priority during your surrogacy process, you will be asked to meet a number of surrogate health requirements.

The intended parents’ fertility clinic will be the one to determine whether or not you are physically capable of safely completing the necessary medical processes and carrying a baby to term. They’ll determine this based on a physical exam and a review of your medical history. The intended parents will also be able to get a say in regards to what they’re comfortable with in terms of your personal and medical history.  This means that even if you meet all health requirements to be a surrogate mother, certain conditions could increase your wait time when looking for intended parents.

If this is your first time going through the surrogacy process, you probably have a lot of questions about the requirements to become a surrogate.  You can continue reading below to get answers to twelve of the most frequently asked questions we receive, or you can contact a surrogacy professional today.

1. “Can a Woman in Menopause Be a Surrogate?”

No. If you are experiencing menopause, you will likely not be able to become a surrogate. The age requirement to be a surrogate will vary depending on the surrogacy agency you work with. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that a surrogate must be between 21-45 years of age. However, being between 21-38 years of age will typically ensure successful IVF treatments and mitigate risks for you and the baby.

2. “Can I Be a Surrogate with HPV?”

While HPV has not been shown to affect a developing baby or your pregnancy, the answer to this question could vary on a case-by-case basis.  To determine whether HPV will affect your ability to be a surrogate you should speak with your surrogacy professional and/or doctor.

3. “Can I Be an HIV-Positive Surrogate Mother?”

No. Because HIV is transmissible to the baby during pregnancy, testing positive for HIV will prevent you from becoming a surrogate.

4. “Can You Be a Surrogate Mother With Herpes?”

Herpes may not prevent you from becoming a surrogate, but it might affect your wait time when it comes to being matched with intended parents. Depending on the severity of the case is as you near your delivery date, a C-section may be necessary.

5. “How Many Times Can You Be a Surrogate?”

While there is no specific limit on how many times you can be a surrogate, there is a limit on the amount of deliveries you can have and still be a surrogate. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine advises that a surrogate have no more than five vaginal deliveries or four C-sections.

6. “Can I Be a Surrogate if I Just Had a Baby?”

Most surrogacy professionals will ask that you wait for six months post-vaginal delivery or 12 months from your C-sections before becoming a surrogate. This is to ensure that your body has fully healed so that you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

7. “If I’ve Never Been Pregnant, Can I Still be a Surrogate?”

Unfortunately, you cannot become a surrogate if you’ve never been pregnant.  Having had at least one successful pregnancy is one of the most important requirements when it comes to being a surrogate. This ensures that you will have an idea of what to expect physically and emotionally from pregnancy and delivery before doing so for someone else.  It also shows that you are likely physically capable of safely carrying a baby to term.

8. “I’m Breastfeeding; Can I Be a Surrogate?”

The hormones produced by your body during breastfeeding impede ovulation and menstruation cycles, which could interfere with IVF. Because your doctor will administer fertility drugs to influence your cycle, you will need to stop breastfeeding until your cycle returns to normal before you can begin the medical procedures involved in surrogacy.

9. “What’s the Best BMI for a Surrogate?”

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine does not require surrogates to meet a specific weight requirement; however, most agencies have BMI requirements for surrogacy. Your BMI is essentially your weight in relation to your height.  The BMI range you will want to be within may vary depending on the agency you’re working with.  Being at a healthy weight ensures that you will have a healthy pregnancy and delivery, and it increases the likelihood of successful embryo transfers.

10. “Can I Be a Surrogate If I Have Depression?”

Most surrogacy agencies will not turn you away from having used antidepressants in the past. However, you will need to be off the medication for at least 12 months before you can become a surrogate.

11. “Are there Rules Against Being a Surrogate with PCOS?”

There are no requirements against becoming a surrogate if you have PCOS, but your doctor will need to carefully monitor your blood sugar so that you are physically prepared to become a surrogate. PCOS can be worsened by increased blood sugar levels because high blood sugar causes your body to produce more insulin. Higher insulin levels can lead to your body producing more male hormones, which can affect conception if left untreated.

12. “If I Suffered from Postpartum Depression, Will this Prevent Me from Being a Surrogate?”

Not necessarily. Before you begin the medical portion of the surrogacy process, you will complete a psychological screening to determine that you are mentally and emotionally ready to become a surrogate. Part of the screening will ask you questions about how you anticipate feeling once the surrogacy process is over and the baby is with the intended parents.

If you have more questions about the health requirements to become a surrogate or are ready to begin your surrogacy journey, contact a surrogacy professional now.