The most popular type of surrogacy is gestational surrogacy. With gestational surrogacy, a surrogate mother is impregnated with an embryo, obtained via in vitro fertilization, from the intended mother and father. The surrogate mother is therefore not genetically connected to the child, but is just the carrier for the intended parents.
Surrogacy is often preferred by couples who want to have a genetic child, but who have been having trouble conceiving on their own, typically from some kind of female factor infertility (male factor infertility can normally be overcome with IVF/ICSI). There are myriad female factor reasons that explain why a couple may have trouble conceiving on their own: some women may not produce normal amounts of estrogen or may not have regularly cycles — both of which can lead to infertility. Additionally, 1 in 10 women may suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a condition that decreases a woman’s ability to ovulate and/or conceive.