These Are The Medical Reasons To Use A Surrogate

by Natalia Lusinski
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You may have heard the report that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are hiring a surrogate for Baby #3, according to People. (Bustle has reached out to their reps for comment, but has not yet received a response.) And though people use surrogates for many different reasons, there are several medical reasons to use a surrogate, too. Plus, more people may use surrogates than you may think. If the news is true, Kardashian would be among several celebs who have hired surrogates. Lucy Liu, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, and Jimmy Fallon and his wife Nancy have all used surrogates to carry their children, too.

"There are severe medical conditions, like heart disease, where pregnancy is too risky and people then use a surrogate," Dr. Michael Krychman, Sexual Medicine Gynecologist, Executive Director of the Southern California Center For Sexual Health and Survivorship, tells Bustle. "There are also genetic issues of uterine abnormalities that preclude carrying a child, and some women have congenital malformations. The most common presentation of müllerian agenesis is congenital absence of the vagina, uterus, or both, which also is referred to as müllerian aplasia, Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser syndrome, or vaginal agenesis. As for the types of surrogacy, there is traditional surrogacy — the surrogate provides the egg — and gestational surrogacy — using a donor's egg and sperm, and the surrogate acts as a uterus."

Surrogacy May Be The Only Way Some Couples Can Have Children

Another plus to surrogacy, of course, is that it is the only way some couples can have children. "The process is costly and often has moral and ethical issues," Dr. Krychman says. "In addition, it may be difficult to find the surrogate you are looking for, but it does provide a novel way to fulfill your dreams at creating a child and family — and it may be the only way some people can satisfy their need and desire to fulfill their dreams about creating a child and family." So true, as I'm sure you can imagine or know through couples you know who have used a surrogate.

As Dr. Krchyman touched on, there are many medical reasons to use a surrogate, and here are six of them.



According to Surrogate Mothers, Inc., infertility may be a key reason why couples choose surrogacy. After a couple has unprotected sex for 12 months or more without pregnancy, infertility may be the cause, states the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. Of course, if you suspect infertility, you and your partner should then see a medical professional to figure out the next steps.


Not Having A Uterus Or Vagina

Another medical reason to use a surrogate stems from uterus issues — some women are born without a functional uterus, while others no longer have one due to a hysterectomy, according to the San Diego Fertility Center. And, as Dr. Krychman says above, a congenital absence of the vagina could be another reason.


Uterine Scarring

Whether it's from fibroids, a past surgery, and/or scar tissue, some women have uterine scarring and cannot carry a baby to term, states the Reproductive Care Center. In that case, some opt for a gestational surrogate.


Existing Medical Conditions

As Dr. Krychman says above, some women use surrogates because they have severe medical conditions. These conditions make pregnancy dangerous, states ConceiveAbilities, and include heart disease, kidney disease, or severe diabetes. Other conditions include a history of breast cancer or severe preeclampsia, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). If you're wondering, "Preeclampsia... what?!" it is characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy, and there could also be signs of damage to another organ system, states the Mayo Clinic, often the liver and kidneys. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy.


Complicated Past Pregnancies

You may know of women who have had complicated pregnancies and whose doctors warn that getting pregnant again could be life-threatening. As for Kim Kardashian reportedly wanting a surrogate for Baby #3, it's because she suffered from toxemia and a retained placenta during her last pregnancy, reports E! News. She had been diagnosed with early-onset preeclampsia, and she even had to deliver North at only 34 weeks. Kardashian had also blogged about her high-risk pregnancy.


History Of Miscarriages

Women who have a history of miscarriages also use surrogates, according to the Modern Family Surrogacy Center. In many cases, they may choose a gestational surrogate since they have the capability to produce healthy eggs.

As you can see, there are many medical reasons to use a surrogate. However, Dr. Krychman also warns to be informed about the legal ramifications of using a surrogate. "Laws are evolving state-to-state," he says. "Know the state you have a surrogate in, because laws differ, and there have been sticky legal issues. For example, a single man who used a surrogate to have a child later got married and then did not claim his child after birth — the courts awarded the child to the surrogate. So do your research."

In any case, if the news is true, I'm glad that Kardashian would be showing women that surrogacy is a viable option when it comes to having a baby. Of course, only you and your doctor can decide the best course of action for you, so make sure to consult with them first.