It is basically a form of assisted reproduction wherein a woman carries a child in her uterus on behalf of another woman to full term and delivers a healthy baby to her. The "Indian Council of Medical Research" lays down the surrogacy procedures which are followed by all registered IVF hospitals in India.
• As a first step, a detailed investigation of the medical and personal history of the surrogate mother is undertaken. Details of previous IVF cycles, obstetric treatment history are also recorded in a database. The intended parents can choose the surrogate from the scores of surrogate mothers listed in the database.
• Commissioning parents usually use filters like age, skin colour, eye colour, height, weight in order to match the best possible surrogate for the intended mother. Once a surrogate is selected, documentation begins along with guidance about treatment procedures and an escrow account is opened.
• Both the surrogate and intended mother are then put on medication in order synchronize their periods. During this stage, the surrogate mother is made to undergo screening procedures like: Hysteroscopy, ultra-sonography, pap smear, trial transfer and psychological testing to ensure that she is committed to the process.
• Fertility doctors monitoring the follicular activity initiate ovarian stimulation so that the intended mother can produce mature eggs faster. While Hormonal injection is administered to develop the lining of the uterus in case medications like Oestrogen and Progesterone fail to deliver the results.
• The genetic mother who is the egg donor in the surrogacy procedure undergoes oocyctes removal under general anaesthesia. Sperms are obtained from the male partner and the eggs are fertilized outside the body using IVF/ICSI procedure.
Nowadays Cumulus aided transfer technique is employed for embryo transfer in the well lined uterus of the surrogate. A pregnancy test is done after 14 days of embryo transfer and if it is positive, the IVF clinic takes ample care of surrogate mother for the next nine months before the baby is delivered.