Can I Be a Surrogate if I Have HPV?
According to a recent study done by the American Health Association, nearly 50% of all sexually active individuals have contracted some form of STI by the time they have reached 25 years of age. It has become so common that there really isn’t much stigma associated with such an occurrence. It seems to have become a part of normal everyday life.
As it relates to women who have an interest in becoming gestational surrogates, this kind of statistical information warrants extra scrutiny. Why? It’s possible that 50% of all prospective surrogates have had or still have an STI. Does that eliminate the possibility of them qualifying as a surrogate?
STIs and Surrogacy
When you read this information as part of your research about surrogacy requirements, you might have to confront your own history with STIs. In case you have concerns, we want to start by letting you know that having a history with STIs doesn’t necessarily eliminate you from receiving approval to become a surrogate. However, can you be a surrogate with HPV is still a serious question that warrants an answer?
First and foremost, there are dozens of STIs out there in the world today. Some are more serious than others. Some are curable and some are not. The ones that stick around may or may not always be active. These are all factors that will warrant consideration if you were to be going through a medical screening to get approval as a surrogate.
The point is you don’t want to assume anything and simply give up without trying. Your best course of action is to go through the screening process and let the medical professionals make their determination.
Your responsibility in all of this is to be open and completely honest about your history with STIs. Also, you need to understand that the reason this matters is that the fertility clinic has an absolute responsibility to protect the physical and emotional well-being of all vested parties. That would include you if accepted as a surrogate, the intended parents, and the unborn child.
Can you be a surrogate with HPV?
All evidence suggests that Human papillomavirus or HPV is the most common form of STI in America. This is a DNA virus that affects the skin or mucus membranes in and around the genitals area. Sometimes, the condition is referred to as genital warts. How serious can the condition be? Most of the time, HPV sufferers report their condition is benign with no obvious symptoms. When the condition flares up, that’s when genital warts will tend to appear. In the worse cases, HPV can lead to cervical cancer.
During the medical screening process, you would be required to have a PAP smear. If your condition is benign, HPV might not even register on the test. However, a positive for HPV on your PAP smear would be an indication your condition is active. This matters because HPV is only contagious when it’s active or flaring up.
By the way, a negative result does not indicate you don’t have HPV. It might mean nothing more than you aren’t experiencing a flare-up at the time of the screening. For that reason, some clinics want to see PAP smear results over at least a couple of months before moving forward.
Cutting to the chase, a positive for HPV would potentially eliminate you from serving as a gestational surrogate. It’s a serious matter. For that reason, it’s incumbent on you to report a history of HPV even if the report comes back negative. You need to do that because flare-ups happen when flare-ups happen.
To be fair, you have a right to know why having HPV might make it too risky for you to be a surrogate. At issue is the possibility you could pass the infection along to the baby. This would likely occur during the birthing process as the baby is passing through the vagina. Rubbing against genital warts would certainly expose the baby to the virus.
The other risk relates to the possibility of cervical cancer. Should you develop that disease during pregnancy, it would raise the risk to you and the unborn child to unacceptable levels. Nobody would want to see ha happen.
Assuming you do test positive for HPV, you might still have a chance to get approved as a surrogate, even as a surrogate mum with STD 1-2. Each case is unique and will be evaluated as such. Should the clinic’s medical team believe there is little to no risk in your case, they might give the thumbs up and approve you as a surrogate. If accepted as a surrogate with HPV, it’s very likely you would need to agree to a c-section. That would eliminate the need for the baby to pass through the vagina.
What About the Intended Parents?
Before you get your hopes up too high, there is another layer to all of this. While the clinic might say you are good to go as a surrogate even with HPV, that doesn’t mean the intended parents will accept it. For their emotional investment, a lot of intended parents don’t like the concept of risks. While they will certainly be counseled about possible risks, they have a right to not accept any unnecessary risks. They will have the final say.
Can you be a surrogate with HPV? The answer is yes, it is possible. The final determination will depend on what the medical professional thinks and what the intended parents are willing to accept. We just want to reiterate that you have a responsibility to be honest about any exposure you have had to STIs during your life. The emotional and physical well-being of all concerned parties will depend a great deal on your ability to be honest during the process.