Q&A: What can we do to conceive a child without paying a surrogate?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

My wife and I would like to have a child, however, she has had a hysterectomy, and is only left with one ovary. She is 42, and I`m 39. We would like to use an egg from her, and sperm from me, and we have a friend located in MD that is willing to carry the baby for us. What do we need to do to get started without having to pay a surrogacy clinic outrages amounts of money? We have no idea of where to start. The woman that is willing to carry our child for us is currently pregnant, and due in June, how long after she has the child do we have to wait to have her carry ours? Thank you..


Allen Morgan, MD -

The most important aspect of this type of third party reproduction is the age of your wife and understanding the success rates at 42. Her eggs are the key to success and as a female ages, the rates drop dramatically. The chance of developing good quality embryos and having a successful delivery, using a known surrogate, are about 20 percent. Thirty at best.
You also need a good contract. Check out Melissa brisman, a lawyer who specializes in this. 

--Allen Morgan, MD
Lakewood, NJ


Jessica Mann, MD, FACOG -

Pregnancy at 42 is possible.  However, the likelihood of miscarriage increases substantially with increasing age, particularly after 40.  There are a few questions that need to be answered prior to giving you more specific answers.  At your wife’s age of 42, if we are able to identify a normal embryo, your chances of having a child improve.  In order to do this, genetic testing of your embryos may be necessary.  Since you have a gestational carrier willing to help you, this can minimize a large portion of the costs associated with these cycles.  As your gestational carrier is pregnant, she would have to wait probably 6 months to 1 year prior to being able to carry your child.  This may also depend on how she delivers her child (ie vaginal vs cesarean section).  One of the most important aspects of your case is your wife’s age.  I would recommend that you seek a full infertility evaluation soon.  You can, and should, proceed with in vitro fertilization with embryo freezing expeditiously to hopefully maximize her chance of creating a normal embryo as this rate declines with age.  Please feel free to call our office for a free phone consultation if you have any additional questions. Good luck!

--Jessica Mann, MD, FACOG
Eatontown, NJ


Christopher D Williams, MD -

Thank you for your email inquiry.  The first step would be to schedule a new patient infertility consultation so that the physician can determine whether you are able to use your own eggs or not and whether surrogacy is the best route.  There is some preliminary testing that needs to be completed before knowing your ovarian reserve and what your true options are.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with our clinic, please call our office to schedule a new patient visit.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

--Christopher D Williams, MD
Charlottesville, VA


Wendy J Schillings, MD, FACOG -

There are actually many questions that should be asked by someone in this situation.

1. Likely poor ovarian function due to age and one ovary – best to get and freeze embryo (if possible) then work on agreement with GC

2. Best to wait one year between pregnancies but can consider 6 months

3. Need good legal counsel with experience in GC agreements to move forward

Due to my limited response space, I will attempt to answer most of your questions.  I do recommend making an appointment with an infertility specialist who will be able to go into depth and provide more complete answers to your questions.
It will be difficult to obtain eggs from your wife due to her age and having only one ovary.  The easiest way to go about this is to have your wife go through the process of IVF to obtain eggs, fertilize them, hopefully obtain blastocysts that are chromosomally normal and then freeze them.  This should be done as soon as possible to give you the best possibility of success.   If you have normal embryos, then you can work on the legal agreements with the Gestational Carrier (GC.) The GC should have not been pregnant for 1 year before this pregnancy, for the best results. 

--Wendy J Schillings, MD, FACOG
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