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16 Jan 2020

Traditional vs. Gestational Surrogacy

Vicken Sahakian

Vicken Sahakian


At Pacific Fertility Center, we offer a comprehensive range of fertility services to assist those who have been unable to conceive naturally. In many cases, fertility treatments allow a perspective mother to carry a child on her own, but not always. We are happy to assist our Los Angeles, CA, Glendale, CA, and San Fernando Valley, CA, patients in arranging surrogacy, so that a suitable candidate can carry the pregnancy when it is not possible for the parent to do so.

In regards to surrogacy, there are two primary options: traditional and gestational. We discuss the key differences regarding traditional vs. gestational surrogacy so that patients can choose a treatment path that best suits their unique needs and desires.

Traditional Surrogacy

When a couple opts for traditional surrogacy, they choose to have their surrogate act as both the carrier and the egg donor, meaning that she is the genetic mother to the child.

Traditional surrogacy offers many benefits. Most notably, there are fewer medical procedures required when the surrogate uses her own eggs. While IVF may sometimes be required, traditional surrogacy can often be completed via intrauterine insemination, or IUI. IUI is a less complicated procedure, which can further benefit our Glendale patients by reducing the medical risks of surrogacy, and lowering the cost of treatment.

Traditional surrogacy also has some drawbacks that must be considered. For many, it is much more difficult emotionally when the surrogate is both the carrier and the egg donor. It can be more difficult for the surrogate to give up a child that is genetically hers, and the parents may be especially stressed about the bond created between the surrogate and child.

Because of potential complications, some states do not even allow traditional surrogacy, and in those that do, it can be more difficult to find a surrogate who is willing to undergo traditional surrogacy rather than gestational surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogacy

Gestational surrogacy differs from traditional surrogacy in that the carrier has no genetic link to the child. The intended mother’s eggs (or donor eggs) will be fertilized via in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and embryos will be transferred to the surrogate mother.

The greatest drawback of gestational surrogacy is that it involves multiple medical procedures. IVF requires procedures such as ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo implantation. This increases both the risk and cost of treatment, though many of our San Fernando Valley patients have success with gestational surrogacy.

Most of the benefits of gestational surrogacy relate to the emotional aspects of treatment. Many people find it easier to undergo surrogacy knowing that there is no genetic link between the child and carrier. This simplifies things emotionally and legally, which tends to make it easier to find a willing surrogate in a timely manner.

Which Is Right for Me?

Choosing between traditional and gestational surrogacy can be difficult. To better weigh the pros and cons of each method, patients should consider these questions:

  • Are my partner or I able to be the egg donor for my surrogate?
  • Am I comfortable with my baby being carried by its biological mother?
  • What kind of relationship do I want with my surrogate?
  • Will my budget accommodate the cost of gestational surrogacy?
  • Does my state allow for traditional surrogacy?

Contact Us

The fertility specialists at Pacific Fertility Center would be happy to answer any further questions you may have regarding your surrogacy options. To speak with one of our doctors, send us a message at your earliest convenience, or call (818) 952-0328 to schedule a personal consultation. We serve patients in Los Angeles, Glendale, and San Fernando Valley.

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