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 that she is carrying. RMA of Michigan coordinates gestational carrier cycles for parents who have a clinical indication for this service. The patient's RMA physician, (or sometimes a patient's specialist physician in another field) will determine if a clinical indication exists for the gestational carrier service. Upon the determination for the need for this service, RMA will coordinate the care of the patient, as well as any potential gestational carriers identified. If an ovum donor is being used, her care and cycle protocol will also be coordinated by the RMA team. In Michigan a gestational carrier cannot be compensated for their services in compliance with Michigan laws.
Basically any women who cannot successfully carry a pregnancy to term:
Candidates for gestational carriers either use the eggs of the intended mother or the eggs of a third party ovum (egg) donor. The woman supplying the eggs in a gestational carrier case must be stimulated with fertility drugs to produce multiple eggs just like a regular IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle. These eggs are then removed to undergo IVF at which time the eggs will be 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 have been retrieved. With the consent of the Gestational Carrier, the parents are welcome to be present for the embryo transfer. In the following weeks, the gestational carrier will self-administer hormone shots to help establish and support a pregnancy. If a pregnancy is confirmed, it will be followed weekly with blood work and ultrasounds. Typically the Gestational Carrier will be followed by RMA until 6 weeks after the egg retrieval, at which time she will be discharged to her obstetrician. This entire process will be explained to you in much greater detail at your initial visit. We have a specialized team that handles all of our Gestational Carrier cases to provide the most individualized care possible.