First Successful Uterine Transplant Performed In The United States
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Health and Wellness

First Successful Uterine Transplant Performed In The United States

This is a medical milestone for women with uterine factor infertility.

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First Successful Uterine Transplant Performed In The United States
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Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic successfully performed the first ever uterine transplant in the United States on Friday, February 29, 2016. The patient, a 26-year-old woman, received a uterus from a deceased donor, and was reported to be in stable condition following the nine-hour procedure. This is groundbreaking news for women who do not have a uterus, but do have a strong desire to give birth to their own genetic child. The operation is specifically for women who suffer with what is known as uterine factor infertility. Candidates who fall into this category include women who have ovaries, but are born without a uterus or those who have suffered irreversible uterine damage beyond surgical repair.

Of course, there has to be a catch. A woman who receives a uterine transplant must wait a complete year before attempting to become pregnant. This allows physicians adequate time to adjust her anti-rejection medications to ensure that organ rejection does not occur.

It is important to take into consideration that transplanted uteruses are not meant for long-term use. Physicians suggest that after only one or two births, the woman must stop taking her anti-rejection medications in order to allow the womb to either be surgically removed or disintegrated. Anti-rejection medications suppress an individual’s immune system; therefore, long-term use of them is not encouraged.

Obviously, researchers have a long way to go. The biggest hurdle they are faced with is the damaging side effects that anti-rejection medications inflict on the mother and on the fetus. Other obstacles include maintaining an adequate blood supply during the procedure, and for the following nine months to provide a healthy environment for a fetus to grow and develop.

As of right now, Sweden is the worldwide leader in uterine transplants. In 2014, Sweden reported that the first woman successfully delivered a baby after having the transplant. Sweden has currently performed nine successful uterine transplants, five of which resulted in pregnancy, and four of those pregnancies which resulted in a birth. In contrast to the United States, Sweden utilizes live donors versus deceased donors.

Adoption services and establishing surrogacies can be rather expensive, not to mention emotionally draining for families. Pursuing the perfection of uterine transplants will bring many hopeful opportunities for women with uterine factor infertility to bear their own children and experience the journey that is pregnancy. I for one am excited to see what becomes of this medical milestone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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