What are my options if I can’t get pregnant?

If you are struggling to get pregnant, despite regular, unprotected sex, then you should speak to your doctor. He or she will arrange for a series of tests for you and your partner to establish the nature of the problem.

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In some cases the results of these tests will tell you that you are unable to get pregnant due to a physical or medical problem that cannot be overcome. In other cases, you may try cycles of various infertility treatments, including intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), without being able to get pregnant. Or you may have managed to get pregnant several times, but then suffered a series of miscarriages or even still birth.

You may eventually reach the conclusion that you need to use the services of a surrogate mother, or you need to foster or adopt a child.

Using a surrogate has many advantages, especially if you or your partner are able to produce viable sperm or eggs, as this will mean that you will still have some genetic connection to your child. Although you cannot get pregnant yourself, your gametes can be brought together through IVF and the resulting pregnancy will produce your genetic child.

Surrogates are most often a close friend or relative, who has agreed to carry your baby for altruistic reasons. However, this is something that you may consider travelling abroad for if surrogacy is not allowed in your own country. In some countries, such as India or Russia, it is legal to pay another woman for surrogacy services.

You should always check the legal standpoint in your chosen country, to ensure you will have clear rights to any child born to a surrogate, and to check the legal position of the child when you bring them home to your own country. You also need to check on the legal situation if surrogates get pregnant and then change their minds and want to keep the baby. You can read more about surrogacy issues in our detailed review of this topic.

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