BMI requirements for Surrogate Mothers and Egg Donors

When one decides to be a surrogate mother and help the intended parents in conceiving a child. A lot of things go into consideration for surrogate mothers to be selected for surrogacy. One of the most important things is BMI(body mass index). To become a surrogate mother or an egg donor BMI is a must to increase your chances of a successful surrogacy for both the intended mother and surrogate mother.

A lot of interested women who want to become surrogate mothers or donate eggs have a doubt regarding these. Let us discuss them in this blog.

When it comes to surrogacy, taking a longer time to have a successful transfer means time, money, and emotional expenditure for both the intended parents and surrogates. If the woman is not within the normal BMI range then there is a higher risk for IVF cycle cancellation.
What is BMI and why is it important?
BMI requirements for surrogacy?
Risks of being an obese surrogate?
Risks of being an underweight surrogate?
What can I do to achieve a healthy BMI for surrogacy?
Criteria for egg donors?
Process of egg donation?
I am overweight and I have a high BMI. Can I donate eggs?

What is BMI and why is it important?

A person’s weight in kilograms (or pounds) divided by their height in meters (or feet) is their body mass index or BMI. This can be achieved through the use of an online calculator or a simple formula, which are both based on the guidelines created by the World Health Organization (WHO).

BMI can affect your surrogacy so it is a must to consider this. Different agencies will have different requirements that you will need to meet and BMI is one of them.

BMI requirements for surrogacy?

BMI requirements to be a surrogate mother?

In order for potential surrogates to carry a child to term for the intended parents, they must all have a healthy body mass index (BMI). Although it may not be the only sign of good health, weight plays a significant role in pregnancy.

The BMI requirements to be a surrogate mother depend on various factors such as the surrogacy agency, and fertility clinic you are going to work with.

A healthy BMI range is considered to be 18.5 to 24.9, this is the minimum BMI requirement that many surrogacy agencies and fertility clinics look for. The upper limit for BMI is often above 30 and it is considered to be obese as it becomes difficult to conceive. Underweight is another issue. It can take up to four times longer to conceive if your BMI is less than 19.

Risks of being an obese surrogate?

A woman’s weight matters in determining her success in pregnancy. If you are overweight then there is a risk and the intended parents are a bit possessive regarding these terms. Let us look through the complications that an overweight can face during surrogacy.

  • Difficulties becoming pregnant
  • Hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease
  • Pregnancy that persists after the due date
  • Cesarean sections and other medical interventions
  • Challenges during labor and delivery, such as needing to stay longer in postpartum care
  • Both miscarriage and stillbirth
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pregnancy-related infections
  • And more

Risks of being an underweight surrogate?

Both the growing fetus and the surrogate mother may face various risks and difficulties as a result of being underweight. For a safe and successful pregnancy, using a healthy and prepared surrogate is crucial to surrogacy. Let us look through some complications underweight surrogate needs to face.

  • Difficulties becoming pregnant
  • Poor fatal outcomes
  • Insufficient nutrients
  • Risk of having gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and anemia
  • Weak immune system Miscarriage
  • And more.

What can I do to achieve a healthy BMI for surrogacy?

A healthy body mass index (BMI) is crucial for surrogacy because it increases your chances of conceiving a child safely and successfully. The following actions can help you achieve and keep your BMI within a healthy range:

  • It’s important to speak with a healthcare professional or an expert in reproductive medicine before starting your surrogacy journey. They can assist you in determining your current BMI and offer guidance on the precise target BMI you ought to pursue.
  • Depending on the individual situation, establish reasonable objectives for weight gain or loss. Making small, sustainable changes to one’s BMI is crucial because sudden or quick changes can have negative effects on your body.
  • Focus on a balanced and healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and healthy fats that can keep your body healthy.
  • Regular physical activity, maintaining mental well-being, stress, and emotional well-being can affect your overall health and BMI.
  • Stay hydrated. Avoid consumption of caffeinated beverages.
  • Be patient throughout, maintaining a healthy BMI takes time.
It’s important to understand that the specific requirements for surrogate mothers can vary widely, and it’s crucial to consult with a surrogacy agency, fertility clinic, or legal expert to determine the exact criteria in your situation because not only BMI but other factors are considered too. Additionally, surrogacy laws and regulations can change over time, so staying informed about the current legal and medical guidelines is essential.

Let us now look through the second half of this blog; BMI requirements for egg donation.

Egg donation is the process where a fertile woman donates her egg which helps another woman in conceiving a child.

If you are thinking about donating your egg there are a lot of things you need to know. The requirements vary depending on the fertility clinic or agency you are going to work with. Among these requirements, is the BMI requirement which is to consider a person’s overall health and to check if you are healthy enough to undergo an egg donation procedure.

The potential and healthy range BMI requirement is considered to be 18.5 to 24.9.

Having a BMI of more than 30 can put a donor more at risk when undergoing anesthesia. During the egg retrieval procedure, the donor is placed under anesthesia, so she will be asleep (for about 15 minutes) during the retrieval. Having a higher BMI can sometimes require a higher dose of anesthesia, a higher dose of anesthesia has side effects such as respiratory complications.

Women having less BMI are at higher risk of developing OHSS(Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome)as their body does not have much fat tissue that acts against the effects of the egg retrieval process.

The main reason why BMI matters is that women must be put under sedation for the egg retrieval process.

Criteria for egg donors?

  • Donor’s age must be between 21 to 35 years.
  • Donors should be free of infections such as HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome), AIDS(Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), and Hepatitis C, and free from any genetic disease that could be passed to the children
  • BMI according to the requirements of your fertility clinic, professional consultants.
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is not good, it can have bad effects on overall health and egg quality.
  • Medical and family history is required to identify any genetic or hereditary disease.
  • The physical and mental well-being of the donor is important to undergo any psychological or medical tests to ensure that they are suitable to be egg donors.

Process of egg donation?

  • Ovarian Stimulation- This is done to stimulate the maturation of several oocytes, ovarian stimulation is to encourage the development and release of multiple mature eggs from a woman’s ovaries, increasing the chances of successful fertilization and pregnancy. If done before artificial insemination, this increases the chances of the inseminated sperm reaching the fallopian tube and fertilizing an egg. It is done before so that more than one egg is retrieved during egg retrieval because naturally, only one egg ovulates.

  • Follicular puncture- For fertilization outside a woman’s body it is necessary to remove eggs from the ovarian follicle. This is the surgical procedure by which the oocytes are removed. It lasts about 20-30 minutes, performed under light anesthesia. It is performed trans-vaginally and guided by ultrasound.

I am overweight and I have a high BMI. Can I donate eggs?

The BMI requirement is to ensure the health and quality of the eggs that are being donated. The following will help you understand the impacts of overweight or high-BMI egg donors;

Excessive adipose tissue in the body can hinder egg development and complicate egg retrieval in women (as is frequently the case with higher BMI women). This is because hormones produced by adipose tissue have the potential to induce swelling and inflammation.

An increased risk of diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which can impair egg quality, has been associated with a high body mass index (BMI). The likelihood of successful fertilization and embryonic development can be decreased by lower egg quality.

A high BMI means an increased risk of health issues such as diabetes, and hypertension.

The donor may require higher doses of fertility medications to stimulate egg production effectively. This can increase the cost and potential side effects of the egg donation process.

It’s important to note that different fertility clinics have different criteria for egg donors. Other factors such as physical health, mental health, and family history all of these factors are also considered while selecting an egg donor. If you are interested in becoming an egg donor or if you are seeking an egg donor, it’s best to contact a fertility clinic or egg donation agency directly to understand their specific requirements and criteria.

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