The first uterus transplant in the United States has been performed at the Cleveland Clinic, offering new hopes to women who could not bear children for rare conditions. However, the transplant does not become part of the women’s body; it has to be removed after one or two pregnancies.

The transplant was performed this past Wednesday, February 24, and was officially announced the next day. The procedure was part of a clinical trial that would include a total of 10 women who either suffer from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, were born without a uterus or had it removed. In order to get pregnant, the patients will have to undergo in-vitro fertilization.

Photo: Hasbro Children Hospital
Photo: Hasbro Children Hospital

The first patient to go to the 9 hour surgery was 26 years old and is now stable, but it is too soon to know whether there will be complications or not, or if the woman will be able to successfully have a baby. The patient will still have to wait about a year until the uterus fully heals and will have to be continually taking anti-rejection drugs.

The most remarkable aspect of the procedure is the removal of the uterus after giving birth. This means that patients will not have to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives

Results are not published yet since the clinical trial is still underway.

Another uterus transplant

The same procedure has already taken place in Sweden in 2014, but there, the uterus came from a live donor.

The procedure was also successful in Sweden, where researchers were able to prevent the body from rejecting the uteruses. However, patients had to keep taking anti-rejection drugs even during pregnancy.

The trial performed the surgery on 9 women, of which two had to have them removed because of a blood clot or infection, four have successfully given birth, and one was pregnant on November.

Uterus transplant in women born without female reproductive organs

For now, the experimental procedure is limited to women who were born with female reproductive organs. The procedure is still new and complicated and it would get more complicated if it is performed on a transgender patient since there will be required to create a vagina and surgical reconstruction of the whole pelvis.

However, as the procedure at this time is limited to women without a functioning uterus, doctors are not denying the possibility to perform the surgery on transgender patients.

Source: The Business Insider