The purpose of our study was to review and evaluate retrospectively the experience of an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) surrogate gestational programme in a tertiary care and academic centre. In a 15 year period from 1984 to 1999, a total of 180 cycles of IVF surrogate gestational pregnancy was started in 112 couples. On average, the women were 34.4 +/- 4.4 years of age, had 11.1 +/- 0.72 oocytes obtained per retrieval, 7.1 +/- 0.5 oocytes fertilized and 5. 8 +/- 0.4 embryos subsequently cleaved. Sixteen cycles (8.9%) were cancelled due to poor stimulation. Except for six cycles (3.3%) where there were no embryos available, an average of 3.2 +/- 0.1 embryos was transferred to each individual recipient. The overall pregnancy rate per cycle after IVF surrogacy was 24% (38 of 158), with a clinical pregnancy rate of 19% (30 of 158), and a live birth rate of 15.8% (25 of 158). When compared to patients who underwent a hysterectomy, individuals with congenital absence of the uterus had significantly more oocytes retrieved (P < 0.006), fertilized, cleaved and more embryos available for transfer despite being of comparable age. IVF surrogate gestation is an established, yet still controversial, approach to the care of infertile couples. Take-home baby rates are comparable to conventional IVF over the same 15 year span in our programme. Patients with congenital absence of the uterus responded to ovulation induction better than patients who underwent a hysterectomy, perhaps due in part to ovarian compromise from previous surgical procedures.