The aim of this study was to retrospectively audit eight years' experience of an IVF surrogate gestational programme and to compare the outcome of surrogacy due to absence of the uterus with surrogacy indicated for repeated IVF failure and recurrent abortions. A total of 60 cycles of IVF surrogate pregnancy were initiated in 19 treated couples. Absence of the uterus was the indication for surrogacy in 10 cases: Rokitansky syndrome (eight cases) and post-hysterectomy (two cases) designated as group A. The indications in the remaining nine patients (group B) were: IVF implantation failure (three cases), habitual abortions (four cases) and deteriorating maternal diseases (two cases). IVF performance and subsequent pregnancy outcome of groups A and B were compared. There was no difference in ovarian stimulation parameters and in IVF performance between the groups A and B. The overall pregnancy rate per transfer was 10/60 (17%). The pregnancy rates per patient and per transfer were 7/10 (70%) and 7/35 (20%) in group A compared with 3/9 (33%) and 3/25 (12%) in group B. A median number of three treatment cycles were needed to achieve pregnancy. In conclusion, the existence or absence of the uterus in the commissioning mothers is irrelevant for their IVF performance and conception rates. In patients who conceived after more than three IVF cycles, an additional 'oocyte factor' might be present.