Women who do not wish to have any (more) children can decide to tie their tubes in a process called tubal ligation. On the other hand, many individuals and couples who cannot conceive or carry children naturally are exploring surrogacy.
You may want to help these couples through surrogacy. However, if you have had a tubal ligation, you might wonder if it is even possible to be a surrogate.
The answer is yes. Getting your fallopian tubes tied in no way affects your ability to carry a child in your uterus.
The procedure only prevents your eggs from getting to your uterus from your ovary, thus preventing you from conceiving naturally. This article discusses tubal ligation and how it may affect your intentions of being a surrogate.
What Is Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation is the process of tying, clipping, or cutting some part of your fallopian tube to prevent pregnancy. This method of birth control is permanent and effective, with a failure rate of less than one percent.
Women who undergo tubal ligation procedures usually do so when they have decided not to have any more children. This procedure prevents eggs from reaching the uterus and keeps semen from fertilizing your eggs.
For a natural conception to happen, a woman’s eggs must have found their way from the ovaries to the uterus through the fallopian tubes. This procedure blocks the fallopian tubes, making it nearly impossible for semen to come in contact with the egg to fertilize it, thus eliminating the possibility of conception.
Tubal ligation requires you to have a medical professional perform a surgical procedure in a hospital or outpatient surgical center. Often, this surgical procedure accompanies another one, such as a cesarean section. Women often prefer this plan as it prevents them from going under the knife twice.
Before the doctor performs the procedure, the patient receives general or local anesthesia. Then, the surgeon makes a small incision under the navel to access the fallopian tubes. Afterward, the doctor might use a laparoscope or another device to access and cauterize or tie your tubes.
In some cases, the surgeon removes the tubes completely. Finally, the surgeon closes the small incision with stitches and releases you within a few hours.
Like any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved. Yet, the greatest benefit is that it results in a nearly 100% effective and permanent birth control method. Alternatively, a vasectomy on the male partner is another permanent birth control option.
Surrogacy Options After Tubal Ligation
There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional and gestational. The type depends on whether or not the conception of the embryo involves the surrogate mother’s eggs.
Traditional surrogacy usually involves a donor’s sperm and the surrogate’s egg. In such a surrogacy arrangement, the surrogate mother is also the child’s biological parent. This type of surrogacy is uncommon, and if you’ve had a tubal ligation, it’s not even an option.
Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, is a type of assisted reproductive technology that does not require the gestational carrier’s eggs. Thus, this kind of surrogacy is possible for someone who’s had a tubal ligation as it does not require the fallopian tubes in any way.
In gestational surrogacy, a team forms an embryo in a laboratory using the intended parents’ sperm and egg. The intended parents may also choose to use a sperm or egg donor. This option is a common choice for same-sex couples, for example.
Couples with fertility issues may also benefit from this option. The in-vitro fertilization process can include semen from the intended father and a donor egg or vice versa.
After the IVF process, the surrogate will have the embryo planted into her uterus. The embryo will develop into a fetus and hopefully result in a successful pregnancy. Then, depending on if it is an altruistic or commercial surrogacy, the couple will make the final compensation payments to their surrogate.
Can I Be a Surrogate After Removing My Tubes?
The general answer to this question is yes. A person must be healthy and meet other health criteria before professionals consider them for surrogacy. Therefore, the simple fact that you had your fallopian tubes surgically removed does not qualify or disqualify you.
Removing your fallopian tubes is a surgical procedure called salpingectomy that eliminates a woman’s chances of conceiving her own child. Women typically undergo this procedure for medical reasons, such as ectopic pregnancy or cancer prevention.
Even though the procedure removes a major part of your reproductive system, it does not prevent you from carrying a child in your uterus. Therefore, you can certainly be a surrogate after tubal ligation.
There are actually several advantages to being a surrogate if you have had your tubes tied or removed. For instance, it eliminates the possibility of conceiving your own child in a parallel natural pregnancy.
Why Tubal Ligation Might Offer Some Benefits for Intending Surrogates
If surrogacy interests you, the fact that you have had your tubes tied might make you the perfect candidate. This is because someone who has gotten a tubal ligation or a salpingectomy inherently possesses certain qualities vital to being an ideal surrogate.
For example, having a tubal ligation shows that you no longer intend to get pregnant naturally. Therefore, if complications during the surrogacy process affect your future fertility, this would not be as problematic since you have already undergone a permanent birth control procedure.
Additionally, before receiving a couple’s embryo, the surrogate must take medication to heighten fertility and prepare her body for the embryo. If the surrogate is in a heterosexual relationship, they would need to refrain from sex to avoid getting pregnant during the surrogacy process.
There has been at least one recorded case where a gestational carrier became naturally pregnant while being a surrogate for another couple’s child. However, if you have had a tubal ligation or a salpingectomy, you remove the chances of conceiving during the gestational surrogacy process, and you become an ideal candidate for surrogacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need health insurance to be a surrogate?
No, if you are going to be a gestational surrogate, you do not need health insurance. However, no health insurance plans currently cover surrogacy expenses, so even if you have insurance, it will not cover your costs.
As a surrogate, the intended parents cover all your medical bills, including pre and aftercare during your surrogacy. Sometimes, the intended parents must also provide the surrogate with supplementary health insurance and a life insurance policy.
Note that the US highly discourages someone seeking to be a surrogate solely for financial purposes. Consequently, surrogacy agencies will ensure that you are financially stable and not relying on government assistance.
2. What are some health requirements and prerequisites to be a surrogate?
Being a surrogate is no small feat. To ensure a successful surrogate pregnancy, you must meet several health requirements. These may vary slightly depending on the surrogacy agency.
Generally, you must live in a state where surrogacy is legal. You must be healthy with a BMI of 19 to 32. Additionally, you must refrain from alcohol and drug/tobacco use, including the perpetual use of medications, such as antidepressants, for mental illnesses. As such, you must be willing and available to undergo extensive medical and psychological tests. Finally, you must be raising at least one child who you delivered after a complication-free, healthy pregnancy. Similarly, you must not have a history of preeclampsia, pre-term labor, or other complications.
As mentioned, there are more factors to consider. Before becoming a surrogacy candidate, the fertility clinic will need to review your health history and screen you for sexually transmitted diseases.
3. Can I be a surrogate if I have had a C-section?
Yes, it is possible to be a surrogate even after you have had a C-section. However, multiple previous C-sections can lead to complications that might affect embryo transfer. As a result, you might not be an ideal surrogacy candidate after two or more C-sections.
As you can see, tying your tubes will not prevent you from being a surrogate. In fact, in many cases, it makes you an ideal candidate. Still, most surrogacy professionals have many more criteria when looking for perfect candidates.
Surrogacy professionals tend to prefer gestational surrogates who have no intention of having any (more) children. For this reason, those who have had a permanent birth control procedure like tubal ligation or salpingectomy are highly valued. Also, gestational carriers would have to agree to refrain from sex with their partners during the gestational surrogacy process to prevent pregnancy. Finally, candidates should consider whether they’re emotionally and physically ready to be a surrogate.
If you meet these conditions, you might be the perfect candidate. Contact a reputable agency to begin your fulfilling surrogacy journey if you desire to be a surrogate.