Children born after gestational surrogacy, and the mothers themselves, have more medical issues

Issues related to gestational surrogacy are currently the subject of considerable social debate. In relation to this, we have contributed in a book on this topic, where this matter is extensively addressed. Nevertheless, each day brings more news on surrogacy that should be reported.

In fact, an article has been published in Fertility and Sterility that provides new data on the problems that infants born following gestational surrogacy may present when compared with those conceived naturally by the same woman. This type of comparison seems very novel and technically very interesting.

The authors identified 124 gestational surrogates who achieved 494 pregnancies. The outcomes of those pregnancies were very different depending on whether they had occurred through a surrogate arrangement or naturally: surrogate pregnancies resulted in 33% twin pregnancies, while this percentage was only 1% for spontaneous pregnancies. This is clearly negative for gestational surrogacy, because we are all aware of the problems involved in twin pregnancies. Of these pregnancies, 352 children were born. The study found that there were 352 singleton pregnancies: 103 after surrogate pregnancies and 249 conceived naturally. It also found that surrogate pregnancies

  • had a shorter gestation time (38.8 ± 2.8 versus 39.7 ± 1.4 weeks). Similarly,
  • the rates of preterm birth were higher in the surrogate pregnancies (10.7%) versus the natural ones (3.1%); there was also a
  • higher rate of low birth weight in the surrogate pregnancies (7.8%) compared to the spontaneous ones (2.4%), with the mean weight of neonates from surrogacy being 105 grams less than those conceived naturally. Moreover,
  • pregnancies in surrogates showed a higher number of obstetric complications, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, higher use of amniocentesis, higher incidence of placenta previa and a higher number of caesarean sections, compared to natural ones.

Thus, the authors concluded that children born after gestational surrogacy, and the mothers themselves, have more medical issues than those carried and born naturally.