Surrogate Health Requirements: Everything to Know Before Starting

If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate, there are a few requirements you’ll have to meet first. To protect your own safety during the embryo transfer process and your surrogate pregnancy, you’ll need to adhere to certain surrogate health requirements before moving forward.

Every surrogacy professional has their own health requirements for gestational carriers, and Southern Surrogacy is no exception. However, like most experienced surrogacy professionals, our standards are based on those established by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine — an organization dedicated to providing guidance and regulations for modern assisted reproductive technology methods. Like ASRM, our surrogacy professionals are dedicated to creating a safe and secure surrogacy environment for gestational carriers like yourself, through every step of your surrogacy journey.

Below, you’ll find our program’s basic gestational surrogate health requirements. For more information, we encourage you to reach out to our staff at 855-787-2229.

What are the Health Requirements to Be a Surrogate Mother?

It’s crucial that every gestational carrier is deemed healthy enough to undergo the embryo transfer process and carry a pregnancy to term without a severe risk of complications. Ultimately, what this comes down to is whether a prospective carrier meets surrogate health requirements.

At Southern Surrogacy, this means a gestational carrier must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have carried a previous pregnancy to term with no major complications
  • Be smoke- and drug-free
  • Have a healthy BMI (often, the required BMI to be a surrogate is between 19 and 32)

To confirm that you meet these surrogate health requirements, your surrogacy professional will obtain your medical records. You will also undergo certain medical screening for surrogacy, which will evaluate your overall health and your ability to carry a pregnancy to term. This surrogate medical screening may include a physical, a variety of laboratory testing and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. You will also undergo a psychological consultation and evaluation by a certified mental health professional.

Exceptions to our program’s surrogate health requirements may be made on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact our surrogacy professionals.

Questions about Surrogate Health Requirements

During your medical screening for surrogacy, your medical professional will discuss your medical history in detail, including any history that may disqualify you from becoming a surrogate.

However, before you get started, you may have some big questions about these surrogate health requirements. We always encourage you to discuss these with a medical professional, but you can also find general answers to those questions below.

Can you be a surrogate after having your tubes tied?

Yes. Surrogacy after tubal ligation is certainly possible — even recommended in certain cases! You can become a surrogate mother after tubal ligation, because your ability to carry a pregnancy is not impacted. Instead, a tubal ligation (or “having your tubes tied”) simply prevents you from ovulating and does not prevent a successful embryo implantation in your uterus. Being a surrogate after a tubal ligation will ensure that you do not become pregnant with your own child during this process.

Can you be a surrogate after menopause?

In most cases, a menopausal woman cannot be a surrogate, for two reasons. If a woman is interested in being a surrogate mother after menopause, she is likely older than 40, which is when many professionals disqualify surrogates. In addition, menopause is a natural prevention of future pregnancies, and carrying a pregnancy can cause risks to the child and the surrogate. However, always speak with your medical professional to learn if you are an exception to this rule.

How many times can you be a surrogate?

As long as you can safely carry a pregnancy to term, you can become a surrogate — even if you have completed this journey before. The answer to this question will always be determined by your surrogacy and medical professionals.

I’m breastfeeding; can I be a surrogate?

Surrogates are required to stop breastfeeding and resume their normal menstrual cycle prior to preparing for the in vitro fertilization process. This is because breastfeeding naturally delays a woman’s return to fertility by causing a lack of ovulation and periods. However, you can start the application process to be a surrogate if you are reaching the end of your breastfeeding journey.

Can a female with adenomyosis be a surrogate?

Like many reproductive conditions, adenomyosis can make it more difficult for an embryo to implant in your uterus. Speak with a medical professional for guidance on how your condition will affect your ability to become a surrogate.

Can you pursue surrogacy with endometriosis?

Because endometriosis results in endometrium tissue growing where it shouldn’t, it can seriously affect a woman’s fertility and ability to be a surrogate. Talk to your medical professional for more information about this condition.

Is being a surrogate with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) possible?

PCOS mainly affects a woman’s ovulation, but it can affect the success of a gestational surrogate pregnancy, as well. Women with PCOS are at higher risk of certain pregnancy-related complications, which can put both a surrogate and the baby she carries in danger. In most cases, a woman with PCOS cannot become a surrogate.

Can I be a surrogate if I take antidepressants?

You cannot be a surrogate if you are on antidepressants. Many surrogacy professionals require you to be off this medication for at least a year before starting the medical process of surrogacy.

Can I be a surrogate if I have HPV?

In many cases, HPV will not affect a developing baby in uterus. However, an outbreak of genital warts close to a surrogate’s due date can put the child in danger of transmission. In most cases, a woman can be a surrogate if she has HPV, but always discuss this with your medical professional first.

Can you be a surrogate mother with herpes?

In most cases, a woman with herpes can still be a gestational carrier, as there is a very low risk of a baby born with birth defects because of herpes.

Can you be an HIV-positive surrogate mother?

No; HIV can be spread from carrier to baby, even if there is no genetic connection.

Can you be a surrogate after preeclampsia?

Talk with your medical professional, as preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy condition that is more likely to develop again in later pregnancies. The risk may be too great for your and the baby’s safety.

Can you be a surrogate after ablation?

If you have experienced this condition in an earlier pregnancy, many surrogacy professionals will disqualify you because of the increased risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.

Can you pursue surrogacy after a hysterectomy?

No. Pregnancy after hysterectomy is impossible, as the procedure removes the uterus, either partially or fully.

What pregnancy conditions disqualify you from surrogacy?

To ensure the best rate of success possible, intended parents and surrogacy professionals prefer to work with gestational carriers who have had healthy and complication-free pregnancies. If you had previous pregnancy conditions when giving birth to your own children, be honest about them and discuss them at length with your medical professional before starting.

Can you be a surrogate with diabetes?

Diabetes can make it more difficult to have a healthy pregnancy, although it is possible. The type of diabetes you have and your personal health history will play a large role in whether you will qualify as a gestational surrogate if you have this condition.

For more information about surrogate health requirements and whether you will qualify as a gestational carrier, please contact our surrogacy professionals or your personal medical professional.