25 Sep 2020 In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Side Effects and Risks in Surrogacy
Even as in vitro fertilization and other types of assisted reproductive technology become increasingly effective and reliable, surrogates, egg donors and intended parents should be informed of potential IVF side effects and risks. A proper egg donation agreement and surrogacy agreement prepared by an experienced fertility lawyer are essential steps in assuring that all parties are fully informed about any potential risk.
For any woman, undergoing hormone injections in preparing for an egg retrieval procedure means accepting a certain amount of medical risks from the injections, the hormone medications and the retrieval itself (an invasive procedure).
Likewise, undergoing pregnancy and delivery means accepting a certain amount of medical risks—some minor, such as morning sickness or heartburn; others serious but rare, such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. In most circumstances, with good IVF, prenatal and obstetric care, the risks are low.
Egg Donors Should Be Fully Informed of Potential Side Effects
Egg donors also should be fully informed of potential side effects associated with the egg harvesting process. Typically, egg donors self-administer fertility drugs in the weeks before the egg-harvesting procedure, with the potential for minor bruising and pain at the injection site and/or an allergic response to the medication. The drugs can also cause hormonal fluctuations, along with headaches or mood swings.
Potential Side Effects of IVF in Surrogacy
Most surrogacies today are gestational surrogacies, in which the surrogate is not genetically related to the baby. Rather, eggs, or oocytes, from the intended mother or an egg donor are fertilized outside of the womb using the sperm of the intended parent or a sperm donor, depending upon the circumstances. If the IVF process is successful, the resulting viable embryo(s) are implanted in the surrogate’s uterus.
For surrogates, there are additional potential risks associated with becoming pregnant via infertility treatment.
For the surrogate, side effects of the implantation process might include minor cramping or bleeding. Surrogates should remain in close contact with their doctors following the procedures to monitor for any possible signs of infection.
Experienced ART Legal Support Protects Surrogates, Egg Donors, Intended Parents
In any birth via surrogacy or other form of ART, all parties to the process—egg donor, sperm donor, surrogate, surrogate spouse or significant other, and intended parents, as the case may be—must have their own legal representation. Likewise, at each step in the process, parties should enter a legal agreement stating the rights, responsibilities and obligations of each.
Egg Donor and Surrogacy Agreements Assign Responsibility for Medical Costs
Among other provisions, an expertly drafted surrogacy agreement will establish responsibility for any pregnancy-related medical costs incurred by the surrogate. Typically, intended parents cover all medical costs related to the pregnancy or complications, if not covered by the surrogate’s own health insurance. Likewise, intended parents typically cover all medical costs related to the cycle medications, the egg retrieval, and any medical complications, as well as other reimbursable expenses as outlined in the agreement.
Our IFLG team of surrogacy attorneys and paralegals have helped thousands of intended parents, surrogates and donors to ensure they and their families are legally protected. Contact us for more information about IVF and other options for building a family via surrogacy.