Uterus transplants from living donors are now possible. It helps women facing infertility have the babies they have always wanted.
With the way technology and medicine have been developing, it is no surprise that women are now able to donate their uterus. We are all familiar with kidney, blood, bone marrow, or tissue donors but now the world has been introduced to the concept of uterus donors. This type of transplant has been done in the past using cadaver uteruses, however, researchers are now using uterus' from live donors to test their theories. In December 2017, the country welcomed the first ever baby born from a mother who has lived most of her life since birth without a uterus at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. The new mother and her husband chose to remain anonymous. However, uterus transplant surgeon Dr. Liza Johannesson mentioned that out of all the deliveries she has been a part of, this one was a very special one to her. In an interview with the TIME Magazine, “I’ve delivered a lot of babies, but this one was special. When I started my career we didn’t even have sonograms. Now we are putting in uteruses from someone else and getting a baby.”
Coming back to the transplanted uterus, the credit goes to 36-year-old mother of two and certified nurse, Taylor Siler. She was approved for the transplant clinical trial by Baylor University after a mental and physical health screening. According to Baylor, it takes roughly five hours for surgeons to harvest a uterus and another five hours for them to transplant it into the recipient. In fact, four women received uterus transplants at Baylor University. This was the first time living-donor uterus transplants were performed in the United States.
Siler never met the woman she donated her uterus to. However, she claimed that the two of them shred notes with each other on the day of the surgery. Later, she received another letter from the recipient informing her that the surgery was successful and that she was finally pregnant. “I’ve just been crying and getting teary thinking about it, “ Siler told TIME. “I think about her every day and I probably will for the rest of my life.” This revolutionary birth was the very first one to take place at Baylor University. The first ever uterus transplant involving a living donor took place in Sweden.
The First U.S. Uterus Transplant Means Infertile Women Might Be Able to Have Kids https://t.co/LSSRVjCNWo— FITNESS Magazine (@FitnessMagazine) March 1, 2019
Sweden has already witnessed around nine successful uterus transplants, out of which five have already resulted in pregnancies and successful deliveries as well. Women participating in the trials have what’s called absolute uterine factor infertility (AUI). This means that their uterus is either nonfunctioning or non-existent. Most women who have been a part of the trial have always desired or hoped to have a child of their own. As for mothers with medical issues, such as certain cancers, this procedure may work for them as well.
This medical advancement is all about “adding hope,” Dr. Colin Koon, a physician with Baylor University, told The Dallas Morning News. “It’s about offering an alternative to have children for women who thought they would never be able to have children.” Around 3.5 percent of the child-bearing-aged women across the world are infertile due to a damaged, removed, or non-existent uterus. In the United States alone there are around 50,000 women who are infertile. The newfound methods of uterus transplants are giving all of these women hope again.
The infertile women are now getting a chance to finally become pregnant. The surgery is not easy at all. It is quite the contrary. The surgery is very extensive and specific, it lasts around 5 hours long. For example, according to the Baylor program, the recipient must be between 20 and 35 years old with working ovaries. The recipient must be cancer-free for at least five years, no history of diabetes, a non-smoker, and negative for HIV, herpes, and other sexually transmitted diseases. As for the donor, she must be between 40 to 65 years old and should also be cancer-free for a minimum of five years, clear of any STDs, and had at least one full-term delivery.
VIDEO: The first birth in the U.S. as a result of a womb transplant occurred in Texas, a milestone for this country but one achieved several years ago in Sweden. A woman born without a uterus gave birth to the baby at Baylor University Medical Center pic.twitter.com/El2WOoKQSI— azcentral (@azcentral) December 5, 2017
The procedure requires all of the women who are part of the transplant to freeze their eggs before the surgery. They are also required to wait at least a year before they start trying to have a baby with IVF. The fertilized eggs will then be implanted into the uterus one at a time until pregnancy occurs. The recipients are also required to have cesarian deliveries in order to not add further stress onto the uterus. The procedure isn't a sure thing either. The recipients might face organ rejection. The recipients are also at the risk of bleeding and infection.
To combat the risk of rejection, the women are given anti-rejection medication for as long as the uterus is inside of them. The transplanted uterus is supposed to be surgically removed after the women give birth. With uterus transplants becoming a new and exciting medical advancement, it’s crucial to note that this type of procedure does raise some ethical concerns. Organ selling is still illegal in the United States. However, there are some countries that allow a price to be set on some organs, like kidneys. Some people are even concerned about the medical risks of what they consider an elective surgery.
Most women look forward to having a child of their own and being robbed of that opportunity feels unfair and is heartbreaking. They generally do whatever they can to have a child and are ready to fight as much as they have to for it. Uterus transplant surgeries are helping with just that. So far, it is considered as one of the best medical advancements that has taken place in the past couple of decades. There is nothing better than giving people hope again and giving people a family they desire.Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.