Gestational Carrier

A gestational carrier is a woman who becomes pregnant, carries a fetus throughout a pregnancy, and delivers the child for another couple. The gestational carrier has no genetic link to the fetus she is carrying. RMA of Michigan coordinates gestational carrier cycles for parents with a clinical indication for this service. The patient’s RMA physician (or sometimes a specialist physician in another field) will determine if a clinical presentation exists for the gestational carrier service. Upon determining the need for this service, RMA will coordinate the patient’s care, and any potential gestational carriers identified. If an ovum donor is being used, the RMA team coordinates her care and cycle protocol. In Michigan, a gestational carrier cannot be compensated for their services in compliance with Michigan laws.

Who is a candidate for a gestational carrier (GC)?

Basically any women who cannot successfully carry a pregnancy to term:
  • Women who have had their uterus removed
  • Women whose uterus does not function normally
  • Women who have had recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss
  • Women who have had multiple poor pregnancy outcomes such as second trimester losses and/or very premature births
  • Women who have medical conditions for which a pregnancy would put their lives at substantial risk and some have had severe complications resulting from a pregnancy

How does a GC cycle work?

Candidates for gestational carriers either use the eggs of the intended mother or the eggs of a third-party ovum (egg) donor. The woman who supplies the eggs in a gestational carrier case will take fertility drugs to produce multiple eggs, just like a regular in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. These eggs are retrieved and fertilized with the intended father’s sperm or the sperm of a donor. The developing embryo will be transferred into the gestational carrier 3 or 5 days after the eggs are retrieved. With the consent of the gestational carrier, the parents are welcome to be present for the embryo transfer. In the weeks following, the gestational carrier will self-administer hormone shots to help establish and support a pregnancy. The gestation carrier will be followed weekly with blood work and ultrasounds if a pregnancy is confirmed. Typically the gestational carrier will be followed by RMA until six weeks after the egg retrieval when she is discharged to her obstetrician.

The entire gestation carrier process is explained in much greater detail at your initial visit. We have a specialized team that handles all our gestational carrier cases to provide the most individualized care possible.