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


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.


Male Infertility

Both genders are equally likely to experience fertility issues. To give you an impression of how common male infertility is, it affects approximately 7 % of men’s population. To define shortly, male who can not cause fertile female’s pregnancy, probably has fertility issues.


Generally, male’s ability to fertilize egg depends on the quality and quantity of his sperm. However deficiency of any kind can not be observed with the eye solely. Male may not have a problem with erection, ejaculation or throughout the process of intercourse. Medical examinations and tests are needed to spot the source of the problem.


Besides problems with sperm production, males might have issues with it’s transport. Transportation problems occur due to blockages that prevent sperm from delivering. So we already know that in order for males to be fertile they should :


Produce healthy sperm  – Sperm production happens in testicles, so at least one of them has to be functional.  Infections might be responsible for interfering with sperm production. Hormone imbalances as well as cancers and tumors are common reasons of male reproductive organ dysfunctions.


Ejaculate sperm with semen  – After the sperm production, it must be transported with ease in order to mix with the semen before ejaculation (ejection from penis). One of the common causes are antibodies – the immune system cells. Sometimes they make a mistake, identify sperm as harmful and attack it for destruction.


Produce enough sperm  – If sperm is low in number, chances of fertilizing female egg are decreasing. Common reason of low sperm amount is  leading an unhealthy lifestyle. We will discuss risk factors later in this post.


When males have any kind of discomfort or pain in their testicles, inability to erect or ejaculate, then it is pretty obvious that they should plan consultation with the doctor. Issues can be provoked by trauma or any kind of dysfunction throughout the development period of reproductive system.  Don’t feel scared or ashamed, because in case there is an issue that needs treatment, it’s better to identify it early. On the other hand, lack of sexual drive may happen because of a simple reason (for example a hard times at work) and doctor will only give some useful advices.


Apart from medical problems, of course there are risk factors that are caused by our lifestyle choices. In order to avoid causing problems artificially , males should consider :



  • Drug use and smoking reduce  number and the quality of sperm .


  • Frequent and heavy alcohol usage results in erectile problems as well as decrease of sperm amount.


  • Excess weight and emotional stress  may cause hormonal disbalances that may also lead to male infertility.



It is of greatest importance to not exceed the limits and take care of one’s health.  It is also important to follow doctor’s recommendations precisely. Treatment may include surgical procedure, medicines and even more active sexual lifestyle. Alternative choice can also include using a sperm donor and fertilizing mother’s eggs through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique.


Please do not forget our agreement to stay positive and do not let a negative attitude to strain the situation. 🙂




Female Infertility

The word infertility, at first glance, may sound like something terrifying. Couples become stressed after several unsuccessful efforts and start to give up their hope. Rule number one is to never overreact  and don’t get depressed about the situation that has many solutions. Parents might not even have a serious problem and their negative attitude will only intensify the tension. So let’s discuss what infertility is and what are the factors that cause it.


Couple might consider visiting specialist – reproductive endocrinologist, after unsuccessfully trying to conceive after a year of unprotected interourse. So where is the problem hiding?


Steps leading to pregnancy


  • Release of eggs from female’s ovary, known as ovulation.
  • Male’s sperm joining and fertilizing the egg.
  • Fertilized egg going towards the womb and attaching to the inside.


Problem is hiding and occurring in one of these processes. Normally we can not say in advance which parent is having a fertility issue as both genders are likely to have one. Sometimes it can happen that both parents are completely fertile, but they simply can not make it together. Specialists will do all of the necessary tests to spot the source of a problem. According to the results and prescription,  parents will then know how to continue their way to parenthood.


In today’s world, infertility is quite common. People tend to discuss it more, as the means of solution, including the existence of surrogacy agencies, have changed the attitude of society towards the issue a lot.


Today we will be focusing on female infertility.


What are the risk factors to be aware of?


  • Age *


As women get older, their chances of getting pregnant decrease. This happens due to several reasons :

  •  Ovaries are less capable of releasing eggs.
  •  The number of eggs left are small in number or are not healthy enough.
  •  With age, female is more likely to have a health condition that causes fertility  problems.
  •  Chances of miscarriage are increasing.
  •  Menopause  – age specific condition when female period is becoming irregular.  Ovarian function is declining and so are decreasing the chances of pregnancy.

In order to avoid issues connected with age, women are advised to have a child until the age of 35.


  • Extreme change in weight
  • Physical and mental exhaustion
  • Smoking
  • Frequent alcohol consume
  • Drug use


As you can see, leading healthy lifestyle and taking care of your mental state can contribute a lot to overcoming/ not experiencing fertility problems. However there exist several health conditions that result in infertility.


Common medical reasons of female infertility


  • Pelvic inflammatory disease – infection of female reproductive organs
  • Polyps in the uterus
  • Endometriosis –  tissue that normally lies inside of uterus, grows outside of it.
  • Fibroids – tumors in female reproductive system
  • Chronic illness
  • Hormonal problems
  • Irregular and painful periods – females with irregular periods are likely not ovulating.


When one of the above mentioned issues are present, then women have to act exactly according to doctor’s treatment. It may vary from taking medicines to medical procedures.

What we can say without doubt is that all of the above mentioned problems have a solution and with the right treatment and attitude all of the couples are just one step away from becoming parents. Please don’t forget to take care of your health on regular  basis and you will make the best contribution ever !