For many women, motherhood represents the great dream of their lives, however, according to the values of the World Health Organization, it is estimated that around 80 million couples have fertility problems that make it impossible for them to have children.
Despite this, and thanks to the advances in science and technology today, Assisted Reproduction Techniques represent an effective solution for most fertility problems.
However, there are numerous cases where the woman has an impossibility or contraindication to gestate, generally due to the absence of a uterus.
The only way to have children genetically is through uterine surrogacy.
What is uterine surrogacy?
The term uterine surrogacy or surrogacy It is applied when the gestation is carried out by another woman, called a surrogate or surrogate mother, in charge of keeping the baby protected in her womb and giving birth through a contract or agreement for another person or couple, which become parents of the baby.
One of the pioneers of this practice in the United States was the lawyer Noel Keane, who in 1976 negotiated and wrote the first formal agreement between a married couple and a surrogate mother. Subsequently, Keane opened a clinic to pursue the business of surrogacy.
Later, in 1980, the technological advances of the In Vitro Fertilization , gave way to a new type of surrogacy, called gestational surrogacy. This is characterized by dividing the roles of the mother in two: the pregnant mother and the genetic mother. In this way, the intentional mother or a donor, contributes her eggs that are fertilized in vitro with the sperm of an intentional father or a donor.
Subsequently, the embryos are transferred to the pregnant mother, who is simply responsible for gestating and giving birth to the child without having any genetic relationship with it. This possibility gained great popularity, since the lack of genetic relationship of the pregnant mother reduces the legal problems in the parentage.
Although uterine surrogacy is presented as an opportunity for couples who wish to have biological children, the reality is that it is allowed in very few countries and, consequently, its performance can be difficult or even impossible. Therefore, those women or couples who have uterine surrogacy as the only reproductive option and live in countries where this practice is legally prohibited, usually move to Colombia where this procedure is protected and completely legal.
Medical Indications for Uterine Surrogacy
A required surrogate pregnant mother , for any couple in which the woman cannot get pregnant. Commonly, the medical indications for uterine surrogacy are female in origin; presenting different situations depending on whether the woman has a uterus or not. Thus, the case may arise in which the woman has had her uterus surgically removed, or the absence of it for congenital reasons.In other cases, the woman may have her uterus intact, but is unable to maintain the pregnancy to the end. Other medical indications such as cardiac, renal, immunological, rheumatological, oncological pathologies can also be a reason to use a surrogate pregnant mother.
Over the years, different situations have arisen, related to the different family models existing in today's society. This being the case of homosexual couples male or single men, where the indication for uterine surrogacy is no longer due to a female pathology, but rather, it is determined by the absence of the woman to be able to gestate.
Assisted Reproductive Techniques for Uterine Surrogacy
This technique is applied in the case of traditional or partial surrogacy. The procedure consists of depositing the semen inside the uterus to facilitate the encounter between the sperm and the oocyte without sexual contact. The use of this technique implies that the surrogate mother always contributes the female gamete, so that the gestated child will have the genetic contribution of the surrogate mother. In cases where the semen used is from a donor, there will be no kind of genetic contribution from the couple.
In Vitro Fertilization
It is the assisted reproductive technique that makes gestational surrogacy possible. It consists of a series of medical and biological procedures performed in a laboratory that facilitate the union of oocytes and sperm. The process involves hormonal control of the ovulatory process, extracting one or more oocytes from the maternal ovaries, to allow them to be fertilized by sperm in a liquid medium, in order to obtain embryos that will be introduced into the uterus to achieve gestation.
The psychological or social situations, associated with surrogacy, are in an active study process, since it is a process that involves legal and emotional agreements, which makes surrogacy a complicated and quite controversial regarding legality and ethics; Because not everything that science proposes is allowed by moral and religious rules.