18 Questions You Have About PA Surrogate Health Requirements

As you consider becoming a gestational carrier in Pennsylvania, you will need to evaluate your own physical preparedness for this process. When you contact a surrogacy professional about starting this journey, they will require you to go through certain screening and background checks to ensure you meet the necessary surrogate health requirements. Some of these are self-explanatory, but what are the other health requirements to be a surrogate mother in Pennsylvania?

Don’t worry — our professionals are here to help. When you contact our team, they will answer all of your questions about requirements for becoming a gestational carrier with our program, and they can always put you in touch with local medical professionals to start your surrogacy screening. Surrogacy can be a complicated path with certain risks, and it may not be the right choice for everyone. Making sure you meet surrogate health requirements is one of the important steps to making sure it’s right for you.

So, what are the health requirements to be a surrogate mother with our agency?

  • Being between the ages of 21-45
  • Having at least one successful pregnancy
  • Having had no more than five previous deliveries or three deliveries via cesarean section
  • A healthy BMI, usually between 19-30
  • No ongoing mental health issues and no use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medicine for a substantial time
  • No smoking or using illicit drugs, or being a former smoker or drug user
  • At least one year’s time from the last pregnancy
  • Passing a medical screening for certain health conditions and sexually transmitted infections

Only a medical professional can ultimately tell you whether or not you are eligible to become a gestational carrier. However, there are a few common questions women like you have about surrogate health requirements in Pennsylvania. To help you out, we’ve answered them below.

For more information on surrogate health requirements and becoming a gestational carrier with our program, please call 814-237-7900 or contact us online.

1. How many times can you be a surrogate?

The ASRM guidelines recommend no more than five vaginal deliveries or three cesarean deliveries for surrogates. However, how many times you can be a surrogate will depend upon your own medical background situation.

2. I’m breastfeeding. Can I be a surrogate?

Breastfeeding woman usually cannot be surrogates, as the breastfeeding process releases natural hormones that cause a lack of ovulation and periods. These hormones will make it much more difficult for an embryo to implant in a woman’s uterus, so many surrogacy professionals require surrogates to have stopped breastfeeding and resumed their normal menstrual cycle before starting surrogacy medical procedures.

3. Can you be a surrogate after having your tubes tied?

Because gestational surrogacy does not require the use of a surrogate’s eggs, women can pursue surrogacy after tubal ligation. Finding a surrogate mother after tubal ligation may actually be preferable to intended parents, as the procedure’s effects make it impossible for a woman to become pregnant with her own child during the embryo transfer process.

4. Can you be a surrogate after preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that could affect your future ability to safely and successfully carry a child to term. It’s likely that a history of this condition will exempt you from becoming a surrogate, but you can always speak to your doctor and a surrogacy specialist for more information. 

5. Can you be a surrogate after ablation?

Endometrial ablation may make it difficult or impossible for a woman to become pregnant, as it destroys the uterine lining. Because of the health risks involved, you cannot become a surrogate after ablation.

6. Can I pursue surrogacy with endometriosis?

The answer to this will depend on the severity of your condition, as endometriosis can frequently reduce the chance of conception and increase the risk of miscarriage. It’s highly likely that you won’t be cleared by a physician to be a surrogate if you have endometriosis.

7. Can a female with adenomyosis be a surrogate?

If you have adenomyosis, it means that your endometrial tissue has begun to grow into the muscle layers of your uterus. Often, this can interfere with the implantation of an embryo into your uterus, but it may be treated with hormones. Speak with your doctor about surrogacy in your situation.

8. Can I become a surrogate with PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome may not automatically disqualify you from becoming a surrogate, but it can require extra attention from your physician during your pregnancy. Talk to your surrogacy professional and your doctor to learn more about being a surrogate with PCOS.

9. Can you still be a surrogate after menopause? Do you have to have menstrual periods to be a surrogate?

While you may still be able to get pregnant after menopause, there is a reason that many surrogacy professionals require surrogates to be younger than 45 years old. After menopause, the likelihood of pregnancy risks and complications increases, proving dangerous for both the woman and the baby she is carrying. In many cases, a postmenopausal woman cannot be a surrogate. However, because there have been situations where older relatives carried for younger intended parents, this is a conversation to have with your fertility clinic.

10. Can you be a surrogate if you’ve had C-sections?

As long as you have had fewer than three deliveries via cesarean section, you should still be able to become a gestational carrier.

11. What pregnancy conditions disqualify you from surrogacy?

It’s important to talk to your surrogacy professional and your doctor if you have concerns about pregnancy conditions complicating your ability to be a surrogate. In general, any major conditions like preterm labor or preeclampsia will likely prevent you from becoming a surrogate. 

12. Can someone with sickle cell be a surrogate?

Sickle cell disease is a condition that can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor and low birth rate, which is why many medical professionals will disallow a woman with sickle cell from serving as a surrogate. 

13. Can you be a surrogate with diabetes?

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can pose serious risks to pregnant mothers because of the difficulty of controlling blood glucose levels during pregnancy. These increased risks to health typically exempt a woman with diabetes from becoming a surrogate.

14. Can I be a surrogate if I have HPV?

HPV may or may not affect a developing baby. The best course of action if you have HPV and are considering surrogacy is to speak to a surrogacy professional. 

15. Can you be a surrogate mother with herpes?

Similarly, if you have herpes, you should also speak to a surrogacy professional about your medical condition. It may not prevent you from becoming a surrogate, but it could play a role in how you are matched with intended parents and in your delivery plan.

16. Is it possible to be an HIV-positive surrogate mother?

A woman with HIV cannot be a surrogate because of the risk of transfer of the disease to the baby.

17. Why is there a weight requirement to be a surrogate?

Prospective surrogates often ask about the required BMI to be a surrogate, especially when they’ve successfully delivered babies at their weight before. However, the fact is that becoming a surrogate while overweight increases the likelihood of pregnancy complications, making it too risky a process for a woman to pursue.

18. Can you be a surrogate if you suffer from depression or post-partum depression?

If you currently suffer from depression, you will not be eligible to become a surrogate. You cannot be a surrogate if you’re on antidepressants; you must have refrained from using these drugs for at least 12 months before becoming a surrogate. As far as postpartum depression, if it has been successfully treated, you may still be able to be a gestational carrier.