When you decide to become a surrogate, you’ll need to go through a health screening to prove that you are healthy enough to support a pregnancy. Determining your BMI is a part of this process. An ideal BMI is associated with a better chance of having a healthy, successful pregnancy. With this information, you can learn more about what you can expect from the limits on BMI for surrogacy.
Understanding the Body Mass Index
The body mass index (BMI) is a relatively simple calculation created in the 1800s to estimate a person’s fatness. Although originally designed to help public health researchers determine the average size of a population for allocation of resources, the WHO adopted it in the 1990s as a classification that has a number of potential health effects. You can do the calculation by taking your weight in kilograms and your height in meters. Square each number, and divide the weight result by the height result. Most people will have a number between 18 and 40.
BMI Factors in a Surrogacy Journey
Although some scientists have criticized the use of BMI in assessing health, BMI requirements for surrogacy play an important role. Surrogacy generally requires embryo transfer via in vitro fertilization. The success of the procedure comes through the use of medications, which may be more or less effective depending on your BMI. Additionally, having a BMI that is too high or low is associated with these possible outcomes:
- Difficulty achieving pregnancy
- Increased number of transfers
- Problems maintaining a pregnancy
- Likelihood of premature birth
- Issues during delivery
- Pregnancy complications, such as gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes
With a number of risks to consider, agencies often set BMI requirements to increase the success rate of each surrogacy journey.
Surrogacy BMI Requirements
As a general rule, you can expect the surrogate BMI requirements to range from 19 on the lower end, to 29 to 33 on the higher end. Agencies may set these limits based on the requirements of the reproductive endocrinologists they work with or create their own limits that will meet the rules of various clinics. If you’re close to the top or the bottom of the BMI to be a surrogate, you should consider getting a health evaluation from your doctor and talk to the agency for more information.
Surrogate vs. Egg Donor BMI
While some surrogacy agencies may be willing to accept an overweight surrogate with a BMI up to 35, egg donor BMI usually has to be 29 or lower. The requirements come from the fact that higher BMI is associated with lower egg quality, which is a key factor for the egg’s ability to turn into a viable embryo. Additionally, egg donors with higher BMI may need higher doses of medications to stimulate the follicles, which creates higher costs for the intended parents.
International Surrogacy Center Can Support You
Determining whether you meet the requirements to be a surrogate takes time. You’ll need to ensure that you are in the best possible health, including the right surrogate BMI. At International Surrogacy Center, we believe that each surrogate deserves a healthy surrogacy journey with plenty of support from our experienced staff. To learn more about how we can help you, including surrogate support group meetings and more, contact us to become a surrogate today.