Surrogate Mother Selection Criteria

In reality, it is not that simple to formulate the golden standards for the surrogate mother selection. Criteria can sometimes  be different across the countries and agencies. However, it is important that intended parents have the general understanding and have an idea of what should they expect and how their surrogate mother is controlled before being finally  chosen for the program.

Intended parents need to be ensured that the agency will do it’s best, double check medical condition of the surrogate mother and choose the most appropriate candidate with the highest likelihood of success.

Does not matter whether baby is genetically connected to the surrogate mother or not. There exist a number of medical complications and conditions  which may occur or transmit  while the baby is being carried by the surrogate.

Most of the surrogacy agencies will require that surrogate mother does or provides the results of routine medical tests, such as : complete blood count, HIV test, hepatitis C,  measurement of hormone levels, pap smear test  and more.

The list of tests and requirements may vary across countries and agencies.  In some cases, apart from the ordinary tests, the surrogate should provide additional reports:


  • Chest X-ray and the conclusion that surrogate does not have tuberculosis.
  • Conclusion from the breast physician.
  • It is often required that the surrogate mother has her own children. It is important to check the report from the pediatrician and make sure that surrogate’s biological children are healthy and do  not have any medical problems.
  • Conclusion from the narcologist.
  • Report from the psychologist – yes, it is important to know that a surrogate mother is mentally healthy and completely ready to get started with the program and such a responsible journey.
  • The reports should of course include the final conclusion that the surrogate mother is healthy and does not have any pregnancy related issues.


During the introduction to the agency and the preliminary discussion, intended parents can require the list of surrogate mother selection criteria and double check that their candidate is satisfying them.

Huge amount of tests does not necessarily mean more qualitative check up and service. It is crucial that all of the tests have their purpose and are connected to the pregnancy. Intended parents should not hesitate to ask as many questions as needed and desired.


Surrogacy in Greece

In Europe, there is a lack of countries where surrogacy is allowed. In many cases, European couples have to leave the continent in order to find a suitable surrogacy destination. Greece is one of very few European countries where surrogacy is regulated and legal. Since 2014, surrogacy in Greece has been available for non-EU citizens too and has become an international destination for couples seeking surrogacy services.


In Greece, intended parents do not need to be married and single females are eligible for surrogacy services too. As for 2017, same-sex couples and single males are not currently allowed to become parents through a surrogacy program. Intended parents are required to provide medical proof that they are not able to have children without the assistance and fertility treatment such as IVF.


Although the law states that surrogacy should be altruistic, it is not completely so. Regulations allow surrogate mother to be paid up to 10,000 Euros. This amount is considered as a compensation for the loss of the regular job. It can be evaluated based on surrogate mother’s skills and qualifications –  how much would she earn as an employee.


Embryo transfer cannot occur without the permission of the court. Court has to allow a surrogate mother to participate in a program and intended parents should submit their medical records too. After about 8 weeks, court will notify the decision to the participating parties.


Of course surrogacy agencies and clinics will screen surrogate mother closely, however, it can happen that medical preparation of the surrogate does not go  as expected or she has to be replaced due to a private or medical reason. In this case, a new candidate will need to be presented to the court , whose approval will take an additional time. In this case, the total approval time may take up to 6 months.


Intended mother will be baby’s legal mother and her male partner – baby’s legal father. According to the Greek Civil Code, surrogate mother has no rights to request custody.


Total costs of surrogacy will of course depend on concrete services that intended parents need. Prices of surrogacy services are not very affordable in Greece and may sum up to 60,000 EUR.


Whether Greece is an attractive surrogacy destination depends on an individual case.  Intended parents will have to make a decision based on financial and other private matters, as well as after the communication with surrogacy agencies operating in the country. Meanwhile, we have provided several highlights that summarize surrogacy in Greece:  



  • Court approval and involvement prevents legal controversies
  • Intended parents are legal parents
  • Greece is a famous tourist destination with well known resorts



  • Approval process might get delayed
  • Not affordable
  • Surrogacy is not allowed for same-sex couples and single males


Fertility Diet

Nobody doubts the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. We all love toned and healthy bodies. Physical activities, hydration, well-balanced and healthy diet are things that benefit our lives mentally, medically and physically. Based on years of experience and researches, certain types of foods and lifestyle choices have been proven to influence fertility as well. Further we will focus on fertility diet – nutrients and meals that give a boost to  reproductive system and support healthy pregnancy.

It is important to realize that diet choices influence fertility a long before actually trying to conceive – by the moment of pregnancy, it is essential to have a well prepared body. Remember that very low or very high body mass index (BMI) is often responsible for irregular menstruation, ovulation and a number of  pregnancy complications.


Iron & Vitamin C

During  menstruation, iron is leaving the body together with the red blood cells. For some females, periods are more heavy and they tend to lose more iron from the body. Iron deficiency is neither recommended for the baby, nor for the mother. It is really a hurdle to provide  body with enough iron right before the pregnancy. For that reason, females should consider enriching their diet with iron- especially during menstruation.

It is recommended to avoid meals and beverages that may make periods heavier. Some examples are : alcoholic drinks, caffeine and spicy food.

Excessive amounts of caffeine can also be connected with conceiving difficulties. Remember that coffee is not the only beverage including caffeine. Tea and a number of soft drinks are too. However, it is okay to consume moderate amounts of them.

Foods rich in iron include:

  • fish
  • meat
  • green vegetables
  • beans  
  • tomatoes
  • pumpkin beets

Vitamin C helps to absorb iron and provides body with essential nutrients. Tomatoes, broccoli, citruses and strawberry are examples of products rich with Vitamin C.


Protein sources and Vitamin B

Enriching fertility diet with proteins is important. However, as commonly believed, meat is not the only source of protein. Replacing meat with vegetable proteins is considered to be a good idea. They are lower in fats, can support ovulation and  improve fertility.

Vegetables rich in protein include :

  • nuts
  • beans
  • soybeans
  • tofu

Vitamin B and folic acids can also aid ovulation. Folic acids, additionally can prevent fetal brain and spinal cord defects. Vitamin B may also aid the production of eggs.  Future mothers may want to consider following products :

  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • broccoli
  • ssparagus
  • eggs
  • legumes
  • whole grains



While fish is a good source to support fertility, regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, support baby’s brain and eye development, not all kinds of fish will do good.

Salmon, tuna (except some sorts), shrimps and catfish are rich in Omega-3  and should be included in fertility diet.

Taking fish oil supplements is also a reasonable option to consider, but it is better to choose one according to doctor’s recommendation.

Sushi, or any other forms of raw fish should be avoided. Fish that contain certain levels of metal – mercury, can also be harmful while trying to get pregnant. Types of fish that are high in mercury include :

  • shark
  • swordfish
  • tilefish
  • orange roughy
  • ahi tuna


Hydration is crucial. Future mothers should maximize their water intake and keep alcohol consumption levels low. For women who love to consume dairy products, it is recommended to avoid low-fat dairies and substitute them with whole milk or full-fat yoghurt.

Similarly to females, future fathers should also control their health, weight and diet. Folic acid, vitamin C and zinc are good sources to support healthy sperm production. Alcoholic beverages, drugs and smoking should be avoided or completely limited.

The last, but not the least – remember to be physically active ! Some people may not want to go for a 5 km run or lift weights in the gym, however, they should definitely go for short, slow jogs or walks.


IVF Success Rates

Nowadays, intended parents have an access to a number of information. This is logical, because future parents in need of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, have to be familiar with every single aspect of this process. The primary subject to interest is of course the probability of a successful outcome – healthy pregnancy. Surrogacy agencies and clinics tend to make claims about their high IVF success rates. While success rates are an important indicator of clinic’s performance, numbers do not always depict the reality.


Meaning and Calculation

IVF success rates represent the ratio between pregnancies and IVF procedures. One could think of it as – “how many IVF procedures resulted in a pregnancy?”. Many clinics and agencies offer two types of rates to their future patients – clinical pregnancy and live birth success rates.

Clinical pregnancy rates will tell how many IVF procedures resulted in a clinical pregnancy.

Clinical pregnancy rate = number of total pregnancies / total number of IVF procedures.

Unfortunately, pregnancy is not yet a guarantee of a healthy gestation and delivery of a baby. For that reason, the rate intended parents are more interested in, is the one of live births.

Live birth rate represents how many IVF procedures resulted not only in a clinical pregnancy, but also in a delivery. Just because pregnancy lasts about 9 months, clinics and agencies may not have such regularly updated live birth success rates.

Live birth rate = number of total live births / total number of IVF procedures.


What do IVF success rates really tell us?

The higher the success rate of a clinic is, more attractive it seems to patients. However, each patient is much more than a part of a chart. Intended parents have very different problems and needs, they belong to different age groups and come from various medical backgrounds. All of the factors play an important role in the field of fertility. Majority of pregnancies are successful after only several IVF procedures. Even an average young and fertile couple has only  a  20% chance of conceiving naturally  within a month.

Having a 80% IVF success rate could hypothetically be true, however not for all patients, but rather for certain age groups.


Success Factors

To underline how individual IVF results are, parents should consider factors that play a significant role in successful outcome.


  • Age

Age of the mother is one of the main factors in successful IVF. The quality and the amount of eggs become lower when females are over 35. For that reason, it is obvious that women below a certain age are going to have a higher IVF success rate. When intended mother is older than 35, it may be advised to use eggs from a younger donor.

  • Pregnancy history

IVF success factors depend on previous pregnancy(ies) of an intended mother. For example, if female has experienced recurrent implantation failure, miscarriages or stillbirths, she will probably have a lower IVF success rate.

  • Various fertility problems

Fertility issues are caused by various medical conditions an disbalances. Endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, high levels of FSH and LH hormones just to name few. Accordingly, IVF success rate depends on stages and progression of various health issues.

  • Lifestyle

Female smokers tend to need more IVF attempts than non-smokers. Maintaining a healthy body mass index is also a crucial factor in fertility. Over and underweight females, as well as smokers have a lower IVF success rate than ones who lead healthy lifestyles.


Experience, training, dedication and professionalism of the IVF staff is also of a huge importance. IVF success rate is in fact connected with clinic’s general performance and proficiency.  However it is not a direct indicator of individual parent’s probability of success.


The keypoint is not to accuse the clinic claiming to have an incredibly high success rate in data manipulation and misinterpretation. Neither is the point to ignore the 80% IVF success rate of a clinic and go for the one that has humbly published the number below 30%.  Intended parents only have to know that high IVF success rate of a clinic ONLY is not yet an objective guarantee of desired outcomes and should not play the major role in formation of future plans.


The best way to relate personal situation with IVF success rates data, is to make assumptions based on doctor’s consultation. Based on medical testing procedures, the healthcare provider will be able to make reasonable assumption whether patient is falling in the list of “average” ones.

Pregnancy Complications

Pregnancy is a very special period that needs a lot of attention. A female body undergoes a number of changes during the gestation. It is a common experience to have mild headaches, nausea, dizziness and other minor discomforts. However if symptoms get even a bit disturbing, females should contact their doctors immediately. Lack of control and care may lead to serious pregnancy complications that may affect a baby as well.


Future parents should be informed about all common types of pregnancy complications and in case of noticing any of the symptoms, should be able to act accordingly.


Some of the common pregnancy complications include :


Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are very frequent symptoms during pregnancy. While it is a common knowledge, females should also know that if nausea gets severe, it may be serious. Pregnant women suffering from heavy nausea may not be able to drink or eat. Malnutrition and dehydration can do harm to baby’s development.



Bleeding during pregnancy is a serious issue and needs an immediate attention.

It may indicate several things throughout the pregnancy. Heavy bleeding accompanied by abdominal pain could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. Depending on the period of gestation when the bleeding occurs, it may mean miscarriage or placenta separating from the uterine lining (“placental abruption”).


Flu symptoms

Immune system weakens during pregnancy and makes females less resistant to flu. Doctors usually recommend pregnant women to get the flu vaccine. During gestation, females are more likely to experience flu complications that may become harmful for a baby too (in some cases even causing miscarriage). Flu vaccination is safe for mother and has benefits for a baby. When  pregnant female gets vaccinated, antibodies are delivered to baby via placenta and protects child up to several months after delivery. Additionally, mother’s strengthened immune system can have a positive influence on unborn baby’s development.

Healthy meal plan, good rest and sleep, exercise and hygiene are the best things to follow in order to avoid getting sick during pregnancy.



Extreme sadness is a surprisingly common issue during pregnancy. Changes in body during and after pregnancy are usually responsible for symptoms similar to depression – anxiety, being moody and restless.Females may also feel irritation and swings in appetite. Mother’s extreme sadness has a negative influence on a baby. Sometimes if depression is severe,  women may even think about harming themselves or babies. Therapy and medicines are essential to regulate mother’s mental condition.


Preterm labour

If female has regular contractions before the 37th week of gestation, it can be due to preterm labour. Before 37 weeks baby is considered to be premature and the preterm labour may cause health problems to him/her. If labour starts too early, it can be even fatal for a child. Medicines are used to delay the labour and a bed rest is usually advised. In sake of survival and satisfactory health, it is better for baby to be as mature as possible at the time of delivery.



Preeclampsia is a serious condition and is diagnosed if a pregnant female has high blood pressure, too much protein in urine or problem with kidneys. Symptoms may also include blurred vision, headaches and dizziness. Preeclampsia starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Many females develop mild symptoms near to the due date. Doctors will need to induce the labour as delivery is the best option during the condition. These females will usually do just fine and give a birth to healthy children.

However situation may be risky if the symptoms are severe and it is too early to deliver. Doctor will have to watch mother and a child very closely, give them appropriate care, recommend bed rest and prescribe medicines to lower the blood pressure.


High blood pressure

If mother begins to have high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and has no other symptoms, both mother and baby should be watched closely in order to exclude preeclampsia.


Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes or glucose intolerance means high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Body doesn’t produce appropriate amounts of insulin, hormone that regulates sugar. In most cases, condition is temporary and mothers are able to control their blood sugar levels. They need to exercise and follow diet from their doctors.

Poorly monitored and controlled diabetes can cause serious consequences for a baby (early delivery, breathing problems). It may also increase the risk of preeclampsia.

Later in life, females who have experienced gestational diabetes, have a higher chance to develop type 2 diabetes. It is essential for them to control their weight and lead healthy lifestyles.


Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a condition when fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus(instead of the inside). This kind of pregnancies are also referred to as tubal, because majority of them  occur in the fallopian tube. Symptoms may include abdominal  pain, dizziness, fainting and bleeding. Unfortunately ectopic pregnancy is a serious complication and needs to be spotted timely. It can be fatal because internal bleeding will begin if embryo tears the fallopian tube. There is no way to place tissue inside the uterus, so ending pregnancy is the only option during this condition.


Baby’s (fetal) problems

Unborn baby’s health should be monitored regularly.Sometimes females may feel them moving less than before. Doctor may also discover that  baby is smaller than normal on the certain stage of pregnancy (gestational age). In order to detect baby’s health issues, such as problematic organs or problems with growth, doctors will need several tests. Treatments may vary. Sometimes it is advised to deliver early. On the other hand, baby might not be in trouble at all and mother may only need a special care(bed rest) before the delivery.


In order to prevent serious pregnancy complications, health of a mother and a child should be monitored regularly. Additionally, parents as well as other family members, should do their best to provide healthy and caring atmosphere for the yet unborn member of their family.


Stillbirth – Common Causes and Risk Factors

Stillbirth or fetal death is a loss of the pregnancy. It is not a very common occurrence, but unfortunately remains as a very painful experience for many parents. Reasons and risk factors that lead to stillbirth are various and it is not simple to talk about exact ones in advance. Our aim is to explore the incident as closely as possible and inform our readers about common causes and threats.


What is stillbirth?

Stillbirth is the death of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most fetal deaths occur before a female goes into labor and a significantly less number of stillbirths happen during labour and birth. Miscarriage and stillbirth, both refer to a loss of pregnancy. The main difference lies within the stage of pregnancy when they occur (miscarriage before 20 weeks and stillbirth after). However stillbirth too has a further classification:

  • An early stillbirth – happens between 20 – 27 weeks of pregnancy.
  • A late stillbirth – happens between 28-36 weeks.
  • A term stillbirth – happens during/after 37th week.


If a female stops to feel a baby moving or kicking, experiences cramping , pain and bleeding from the vagina, she should immediately call a doctor or go straight to the emergency room. The healthcare provider will use an ultrasound to check baby’s heartbeat.


Causes of stillbirth in the womb

While causes of stillbirth can be completely individual, based on the experience we listed all of the common reasons:

  • Problems with the placenta

The exact reason why placenta may not function normally is not yet completely understood. However, we know that problems with the placenta is one of the most common causes of baby’s death in the uterus. As placenta provides oxygen and nutrients for the baby, it’s dysfunction causes problems with baby’s growth.

It may happen that placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before birth. This condition is called placental abruption. Females who smoke during pregnancy, are more likely to experience placental abruption than others.

Obesity, smoking, frequent alcohol and drug intake reduce the oxygen delivered to a baby via placenta.

If a female is several weeks past her due date, the placenta may not longer be as functional as before. In this case doctors will normally suggest to induce the labour in order to prevent placenta from ‘wearing out’.

  • Infections

Infections in placenta, mother or a child may cause serious complications. It also includes flu that mother has accidentally caught during pregnancy.

  • Mother’s condition

Diabetes, high blood pressure, trauma, injury, thyroid disorder.

  • Autoimmune disorder (Lupus)

Antibodies that are supposed to attack infections, might mistakenly attack any other tissue in the body. Doctors usually advise females with lupus not to get pregnant due to risks it may cause to mother as well as to child.

  • Preterm Labour

Labour that begins earlier than 37th week of pregnancy.

  • Fetal (Intrauterine) growth restriction

Sometimes babies are smaller than they should be for their gestational age. The prematurity is often the cause of stillbirth.

  • Child’s health condition

Birth or chromosomal defects and genetic conditions can lead to fetal death. About 10% of stillborn babies have birth defects including down syndrome or insufficient development of an organ such as heart and brain.

  • Mother’s age

As females get older, chances of stillbirth increase accordingly, reaching the highest point by the 41th week of pregnancy.


Reasons of stillbirth during labour and birth

  • Not getting enough oxygen during labour and birth
  • Shoulder dystocia

If baby is relatively large, it may happen that his or her shoulders are stuck behind mother’s pubic bone. Most of these children recover, but shoulder dystocia can still lead to the fetal death.


Risk factors

Several factors are confirmed to make female’s chances of stillbirth higher. It will not come as a surprise that risk factors include poor lifestyle choices. Females should know in advance that it is crucial to stay as healthy as possible while bearing a child.


Chances of fetal death may increase with:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug consumption during pregnancy
  • Mother’s age (older than 35)
  • Mother’s medical condition(diabetes, high blood pressure, lupus)
  • Being pregnant with multiple children
  • Previous pregnancy complications or losses (miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth …)


What follows after stillbirth in the womb?

Usually the labour will start itself after 2 weeks of fetal death. However, due to medical reasons (such as infection)health provider may recommend to give birth as soon as possible. Options include:


  • Induced labour – doctor breaks amniotic sac or gives female a medicine. Labour will speed up with both of these methods.
  • Cesarean birth – baby is delivered through a surgical procedure by doctor making a cut in the abdomen and uterus.


For the most of the females, fetal death is a single time experience. Doctors have to  make sure that the health condition present during the previous pregnancy is not a threat any more. After females are ready mentally and physically, they manage to have a normal pregnancy and deliver healthy children. The keypoint is to never stop fighting and overcome all of the obstacles despite the painful experiences – just because it’s worth it.


Reasons of Using an Egg Donor

How should parents know if it is time to start thinking about finding an egg donor? What if it is too early or what if donation is not needed at all? We will try to figure it out.


First of all, we have to mention that egg donation has become really successful. Procedures that use fresh embryo (! not frozen) have the likelihood of 43% to result in pregnancy.  A number of couples that want to expend their families have now the possibility to do so.


Situations vary. Females may experience fertility issues of several kinds. It is advisable to use an egg donor, when :


  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level is high

In females, FSH helps to regulate menstrual cycle and produce eggs by ovaries.  Doctors measure the amount of the hormone in a blood sample. High level of FSH may mean the loss of ovarian function, menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome, chromosomal abnormality or the inability of the body to produce good quality eggs for fertilization.


  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) level is high

Similar to FSH, LH hormone regulates menstrual cycle and egg production. Doctors measure its amount in a blood or urine sample. Normally, levels of LH and FSH are rising and lowering simultaneously.  High levels of luteinizing hormone may also mean ovarian failure.


  • Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) level is low

AMH is a substance produced by egg sacs, containing immature eggs. Blood test will reflect the remaining egg supply of a female. If the hormone level is low, the ovarian reserve is low accordingly.


  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a condition when female hormones are out of balance. We have already discussed this issue and you can read more about polycystic ovary syndrome on our blog.


  • Females are over 40

As we have already mentioned several times, age plays one of the major roles in infertility. Females in their 40s usually have high FSH and LH hormone levels, as well as low AMH level. With age, body’s reproductive system is becoming less functional. Females over 43 years tend to use egg donors for better outcomes. Ageing of Europe is also a demographic phenomenon and is characterised by a decrease in fertility. Many couples avoid creating/expanding families until they are 40. Consequently, their chances of reproduction without assistance are decreasing significantly. Same applies for the USA.


  • Females have menopause

Menopause is a normal, biological process for females in their 40s or 50s. However, it stops menstrual period permanently and so does it end fertility.


  • Mother may transmit a genetic disease

Many couples prefer to use an egg donor in order to prevent transmitting genetic disease to a child.


  • Several IVF attempts have failed

As we already said, in vitro fertilization is a process of fertilizing egg with sperm outside the body, in a laboratory dish. After couples have experienced 4 unsuccessful IVF attempts and doctors think the egg quality is poor, then it’s better to consider finding a donor.


Egg donation is used widely by LGBT couples. Same sex male couples from all around the world as using the donation  procedure to expend their families and become parents.


If couples experience above mentioned issues and doctors have already advised to think about donation, then they got a reasonable motive to do so. However, with the right agency and professionals, there is nothing to worry about 🙂


Endometriosis – Symptoms and Treatment

Endometriosis is a pretty common issue among females who have fertility problems. It doesn’t always cause infertility, but is definitely the condition to be aware of.


What is Endometriosis?


Endometriosis is a condition, when tissue that is supposed to line the inside of the uterus, grows outside out it. This condition is experienced by millions of females around the world. Endometriosis is not necessarily painful or dangerous but unfortunately this can be the case as well. Commonly, endometriosis includes ovaries,fallopian tube and may spread beyond pelvic organs as well. Pelvic organs include bladder, uterus, vagina, small bowel and rectum. Clumps of outside grown tissues are called implants.


Normal sequence

As we already said, uterus is lined with tissue called endometrium. Each month, when body releases hormones, endometrium thickens and gets ready for eggs. If egg is fertilized, it attaches to endometrium and then embryo starts to grow and develop inside of the uterus. When female doesn’t get pregnant, thickened endometrium breaks down and comes out as blood – female menstrual period.


With endometriosis

Outside displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it would normally do – thickens, breaks down and bleeds with the menstrual cycle. But now, implants are outside the uterus so the blood doesn’t have the way to exit the body. Instead, they may be painful and irritated.  Sometimes they can form scar tissues and cysts(fluid filled sacs).

Main complication of endometriosis is considered to be infertility. It may block the tube so it doesn’t give sperm and egg the opportunity to unite. Up to 50% percent of females with endometriosis experience fertility issues. Doctors suggest that females who are planning pregnancy, should not delay it as endometriosis may become more severe with time. Infertility is only common with stage IV endometriosis and can be easily conquered on lower stages.



Based on location, depth and region of extent, there are 4 stages of endometriosis.

  • Minimal – Mild scarring and minimal implants.
  • Mild – Mild scarring and minimal implants.
  • Moderate – Cysts, severe scarring.
  • Severe – Cysts, severe scarring, infertility.


Symptoms of endometriosis


Doctors do not know the exact reason of endometriosis and sometimes symptoms are not visible at all. However, there is still a list of common symptoms that females with endometriosis experience :

  • Fatigue, nausea and diarrhea – especially during menstrual periods.
  • Severe menstrual cramps, abdominal and lower back pain.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Pain with bowel movement or urination.
  • Infertility


Diagnoses and Treatment


Endometriosis is sometimes genetical. Doctor will ask about family history,  symptoms, period history and past health conditions. Most likely, female will need a pelvic exam and ultrasound in order to examine the inside of the belly. The way to treat and diagnose at the same times is laparoscopy. This is a simple surgical procedure when doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube through a small cut in the belly. Scar tissues, implants and cysts are best seen with laparoscopy and in case they are spotted, doctor can remove them during the same surgery.

Other kinds of treatment include counter pain medicines, such as advil and aleve. Birth control pills and hormone therapy  are used widely to treat endometriosis, however females planning the pregnancy can not take them.

If female is close to menopause, then it is better stick to treatment with medicines. Once period goes away, so will diminish the problems caused from endometriosis. However, females who are fighting infertility, are strongly advised to not delay the pregnancy and do not use hormone therapy and birth control pills in their treatment routine.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance that can lead to fertility problems in females. It is in the list of treatable causes of female infertility and can be the result of wrong lifestyle choices.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition, when females have elevated male hormones (androgens). Hormone imbalance can cause a change in appearance as well as in overall health. Problems can reach and involve ovaries, which as we already know, are responsible for releasing eggs during the ovulation. If eggs are not released and a healthy menstrual cycle is affected, then we may be facing fertility problems.


PCOS can develop at anytime during the childbearing age (18-44 years) and affects up to 10 % of females. Common symptoms include :

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Hair growth  in unwanted areas *
  • Hair loss on the scalp*

*  Thicker and excessive body and facial hair , as well as thinning hair on the scalp are results of extra male hormones.

  • Acne
  • Weight gain, metabolism problems that result in the difficulty to lose extra kilos.


As we have already said, PCOS is caused by high levels of androgens. Another contributor is genetics. If mother or sister have experienced the polycystic ovary syndrome, then it is inherited. Males might be carriers of PCOS as well. Environmental factors are also found to be contributors to the disease.


Apart from genetics and environment, there are several risk factors that can be controlled in order to prevent PCOS :


  • Obesity , not enough physical exercise and activities are on top of the list of risk factors.
  • Smoking females have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms.
  • Females with  unhealthy eating habits may develop insulin resistance which is  also the cause of  PCOS.*


*  Insulin resistance means body’s inability to respond to this hormone appropriately. Insulin is responsible for “supervising” the transformation of food into energy. When body becomes resistant, the number of this hormone becomes excessive. It is a common symptom of not only PCOS but leads to type 2 diabetes as well.


However, being diagnosed with PCOS doesn’t mean that a female won’t be able to get pregnant. First of all, we have already mentioned that it is one of the treatable causes of infertility.  Doctors will need pelvic exam, blood tests and most likely pelvic ultrasound in order to confirm the disease.


How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated?


Unfortunately, there is no cure to PCOS, however, after observing the case and causes doctor will work on the treatment plan. With the help of this plan, patients will avoid further complications (such as diabetes,heart diseases, high blood pressure). Additionally they will feel a great relief, break their syndromes in smaller parts and find the remedy to each of them accordingly. Patients should know following :


  • Birth control pills reduce the symptoms.
  • Metformin helps to regulate menstrual cycles.
  • Fertility medicines will be prescribed if female has trouble getting pregnant.
  • Exercising and losing weight help to relieve symptoms. Additionally, accomplishing these tasks are usually followed by self-satisfaction and confidence that help females to fight depression, which is commonly the part of PCOS.
  • Quit smoking to not increase the number of male hormones,androgens, artificially.


Acne and extra hair might need some time to diminish but gradually, females will see them disappearing as well. Patients must not forget to check up regularly and treat their symptoms as soon as possible.


With timely appointments, correct attitude and lifestyle, PCOS will no longer be a reason of depression, unsatisfactory health, appearance and what’s most important -infertility.



Choosing the Right Surrogacy Agency

Parenthood is no doubt one of the most life changing experiences . People tend to plan and prepare for it years in advance. While realizing that one has faced fertility issues that can not be solved without the inclusion of the surrogacy agency, then the first job is to find the reliable one. The aim is to find the service provider that will make this exciting and significant process as light, joyful and effective as possible.


Of course there are several ways that will help to identify in advance whether the agency is going to be trustworthy, proficient and how much effort they tend to put in your advantage.


Customer service

The agency has to provide prompt qualified responses to any of the customer’s requirements. Customer service should be always at your disposal and manage to earn trust and positive attitude from the very beginning of the collaboration. You should never feel that service provider simultaneously deals with multiple cases and you are just the part of their daily working routine.


Ability to listen

Of course every agency has its own plan. They provide you with terms and conditions, legal and financial information, follow the system that will manage all the formal parts of the agreement. However, when we put the formal routine aside,if you don’t feel the individual approach to you as a customer, then you should consider further alternatives. As we always mention, our cases and concerns are different. Agency should patiently listen to each customer  to share their very individual worries, points of view and express readiness to find the most appropriate approach.


Transparent financial policy

One should know what one pays for. Some of the agencies tell their customers the fixed price that they have to transfer straight to the agency’s account. The best of agencies provide parents with the detailed description of all costs clearly defined in relevant sheet with payment system and timing.   The paper has to differentiate the medical and the surrogate mother’s service fees and should be tailored in a way to make it possible the surrogate mother’s commissions to be paid directly to her. Transparently disclosed financial policy protects the customers from undesirable and unforeseen financial surprises.


Proper medical screening

Surrogate is going to have one of the most important roles for the next several months. The agency has to ensure that her mental and physical health are fully corresponding to the requirements and she is completely ready to proceed with the agreement.Parents should never feel uncomfortable to request all kinds of information about the state of their entrusted person.


Pregnancy care

During the pregnancy  female body is undergoing a number of changes, both physical and mental. Surrogate mother needs to be monitored on regular basis to ensure that the process is going on without any complications. For that reason, it is of greatest importance that the agency provides the service of individually assigned pregnancy care coordinator. This person has to be in charge of controlling surrogate mother’s systematic visits to the clinic and delivering results and up to date information to the parents. Pregnancy care coordinator is supposed to be eyes and ears of clinic, surrogate and parents throughout the whole process.


After birth care

After the delivery of the baby, it may be required to travel to the foreign country. Journey to a completely strange country might have some complications. Agency must be helpful after birth as well and provide the service until needed.


Sharing experience

The common behaviour before purchasing any product is to ask for reviews from other customers. Same works in the field of fertility.The agency should be ready to connect you with the previous customers who would like to share their positive or negative experiences, happy or sad stories regarding the whole process.


If the agency you were considering corresponds to all of the requirements listed above, then you are more likely to get positive experience and desired results.