Surrogacy is a trending topic in the Indian society and media right now. Newspapers, magazines, and TVs are full of talk-shows and reports as to how India is poised to become the next surrogacy outsourcing capital of the world. India has a number of successful IVF clinics and expert doctors and also there are a lot of women who are willing to be surrogates.
This is the reason surrogacy costs a fraction of what it costs in the West. While a surrogacy would cost to about US $ 50000 in the US, it is about one half to one fifth the price in India. In this day and age of globalization and market-driven economies, there is considerable demand for this service as it solves the most troublesome problem of infertile couples!
Surrogacy attracts a huge media attention and public interest, but it is completely disproportionate to its utility in real life. Stories about surrogacy in India are full of human interest, which is why they are so popular. It is important to know the real scenario.
It is important to note that surrogacy is useful for only a very small group of women. For example, a busy IVF clinic which performs about 300 IVF cycles every year will see only about 3 patients who have no option but surrogacy. From the medical perspective, the indications of surrogacy are few, and most infertile patients can be helped with much simpler and easier treatment options.
The commonest reason surrogacy is required is a woman who has no uterus. Women who may need to go for surrogacy include those whose uterus is damaged beyond repair because of uterine tuberculosis or Ashermann’s s syndrome. In rarest cases the uterus may be absent from birth (Mullerian agenesis, MRKH syndrome); or may have been removed surgically (hysterectomy for life-saving reasons, such as excessive bleeding during a caesarean). Hence surrogacy has to be the last option when all the other methods of fertility have failed.
However, in real-life, when we analyze the medical histories of women who go for surrogacy in India and abroad, we find that the vast majority of the time it is usually infertile couples who either:
- Have had multiple miscarriages because of uterus problems; or
- Who have failed repeated IVF attempts for unexplained reasons.
Although these can be reasonable indications for surrogacy, patients wish to go for surrogacy because they are fed up and frustrated with repeated IVF treatment failures or miscarriages. They are simply looking for alternatives. In today’s market economy the demands of infertile couples is met because of adequate supply which is created to meet the increased demands. It is not difficult to get surrogacy service in India easily for the right price.
In the Media:
For more details,
MD, DNB, FCPS, DFP ( Mumbai),
Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine (Singapore)
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