As assisted reproductive technology has advanced, there has been an increase in gestational carriers/surrogate pregnancies. Information is needed to determine if these pregnancies are high-risk pregnancies and should be managed by maternal fetal medicine or if they are not high risk and should be cared for by residency-trained obstetricians and gynecologists.
In this review of the literature, we explore whether surrogate pregnancies should be classified as high-risk pregnancies and managed by subspecialists.
Evidence Acquisition, Results
Our literature search discovered 28 relevant studies that evaluated surrogate pregnancy and pregnancy complications/outcomes. We learned that the overall risk by using artificial reproductive technology and risks for hypertension, preterm delivery, cesarean delivery, low birth weight neonate, fetal anomalies, and stillbirth did not seem to increase maternal/perinatal risk to the level where a subspecialist was required for the inclusive management of a gestational surrogate. Given that the ideal gestational carrier is healthy, has previously had a term pregnancy, has a single embryo implanted, and has had no more than 3 prior cesarean deliveries, these pregnancies should be lower-risk pregnancies.
We recommend that close monitoring and high index of suspicion should be maintained for complications, but care for the surrogate pregnancy can be accomplished by a residency-trained obstetrician-gynecologist.
An uncomplicated surrogate pregnancy can be managed by a residency-trained obstetrician-gynecologist and does not need to be managed by high-risk obstetric subspecialists.
Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians
After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to counsel patients on the risks of surrogate pregnancy; identify outcomes associated with assisted reproductive technology; and conduct risk-based stratification of surrogate pregnancy.