Difference between Surrogacy and IVF Pregnancy

Difference between Surrogacy and IVF

In-Vitro fertilization (IVF) and Surrogacy are both methods of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Both procedures are aimed to help couples meet their dreams of parenthood.


1.  Mother is given medication/injections to produce multiple eggs.
2.  Mother’s eggs are extracted outside of her body with a simple operation.
3.  Father’s sperms are collected, and fused with mother’s eggs in a lab.
4.  After 2-4 days Sperms + Eggs are fused together to form Embryos.
5.  One to three Embryo’s are transferred back into Mother’s womb.
6.  Extra embryos which are not transferred can be frozen for future use.

Note: If mother’s own eggs are not healthy enough, the couple can pay some money another woman called “Egg Donor”  and then her eggs are fused with your husband’s sperms to form embryos. Those embryos are finally transferred to mother’s womb (not in the egg donor’s womb). Egg Donor has no rights over the baby since she sells her eggs to the intended parents.

Similarly if husband’s sperm quality is not good, a couple can opt for a male sperm donor as well.

The cost of basic IVF ranges between 1 to 1.8 Lakh Indian rupees. This includes medications and procedure cost.

Following is a more of a theoretical explanation of IVF, which you can skip and jump to Surrogacy directly.

What is IVF?

IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization is a process of fertilization, in which doctors combine the Female’s egg and Male’s sperm in a laboratory to form an embryo (also called Test Tube baby). Later, the embryo is transferred back into to a woman’s uterus/womb. This process was developed more than 30 years ago for women suffering with damaged Fallopian tubes.

How does IVF work?

IVF treatments start with a course hormone therapy on mother’s body to boost the development of several eggs/follicles in her ovary. When the eggs are collected, they are fertilized in a test tube to produce several embryos. After 2-4 days in the incubator, one or two embryos are transferred to the mother’s uterus where implantation may occur, assisting the mother to get pregnant.

However, not all embryo implants can result in a successful pregnancy that is why if any extra (healthy) embryos are still left, they are frozen for another attempt if needed.


1,2,3,4. : The first 4 steps of surrogacy are the same as regular IVF mentioned above.(IVF is needed in Surrogacy too).

5. One to three Embryo’s are transferred into a completely different woman’s womb called “Surrogate”.
6. Surrogate raises your baby in her womb ( also called rented womb) for the next 9 months.
7. Once the baby is born (from Surrogate’s womb), it is handed over to the intended parents.

In the initial stages, if the doctor determines that the quality of intended parents’s Egg or Sperm is not good, then he may suggest parents to go for a Egg or Sperm Donor.

Following is a more theoretical explanation of Surrogacy, which you can skip.

What is Surrogacy?

If the womb of mother is not fit for pregnancy, eggs are implanted into another woman who brings up the baby in her womb for 9 months. This other woman who rents out her womb to the intended parents is called a “Surrogate” and process is called “Surrogacy”. The surrogate mother agrees to give the child to the intended parents at the end of the pregnancy.

This is a complex process, which requires emotional and legal complex arrangements for both the parties. Medical, emotional, legal and financial are just some of the matters that need consideration before going with this procedure.

What are Two different Types of Surrogates?

There are two types of surrogate mothers: traditional surrogates and gestational surrogates.
With traditional surrogate, artificial insemination is performed. The egg of the surrogate woman is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. The artificial insemination occurs in the laboratory but you are using the eggs of the surrogate mother thus giving a genetic link between the surrogate mother and the baby. But the surrogate woman still carries the baby to full term and gives the baby to intended parents.

With gestational surrogate, it is the process of harvesting eggs from the mother and fertilizing them with the father’s sperms. For some reason, the mother cannot conceive thus the embryo is placed in the uterus of the gestational surrogate. The surrogate will then carry the baby for nine months and will give the baby to the intended recipients after the birth of the child.

How IVF and Surrogacy are Connected?

IVF and Surrogacy are different process however, IVF is needed in surrogacy process.

Through the gestational surrogate, IVF is now possible. The harvested eggs that are used in the gestational surrogate are not from the donor but from the mother and the sperm used to fertilize the eggs are from the father. When the eggs are fertilized, an embryo is formed and it is placed in the gestational surrogate.

A gestational mother has no genetic link to the child because it was not her egg that was used. Gestational surrogate is only the birth mother but she is not the biological mother.
Studies show that in the United States, gestational surrogacy is not a complex matter because both intended parents still have the genetic ties to the baby. Most couples now prefer to choose gestational surrogacy compared to traditional surrogate.

When is Surrogacy Preferred?

Couples who cannot take the conventional route to parenthood prefer surrogacy. They may prefer surrogacy when:

• A woman had experienced recurring miscarriages.
• A woman who had tried to conceive for two years and the results are unsuccessful.
• Fertility treatments have failed (including basic IVF, with embryos placed in her own womb).
• A woman is not able to get pregnant because she may have a hysterectomy or some parts are missing in the uterine lining, ovaries and uterus.
• A woman may be suffering with health condition which makes pregnancy dangerous to carry a baby for nine months.
• A man who may wish to have his own child but he does not have a partner.
• Couples in same-sex relationship interested to have a child.

Difference between IVF and Surrogacy

IVF is the process of fertilizing an egg outside a woman’s body while surrogacy is the process when a woman agrees to carry a baby for intended recipients. The surrogate mother will have to surrender all the rights to the intended recipients.

If you used traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother uses her own eggs. This method allows a genetic link between the surrogate and the child.

If you plan to use the gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic link between the surrogate mother and the child because the fertilization had taken place in a laboratory dish and the embryos were just transferred to the surrogate.

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