First Uterus Transplants in U.S. Coming Soon
There’s new hope for women who suffer from infertility due to uterine problems–the Cleveland Clinic will soon begin conducting clinical trials involving uterus transplants.
To conduct this trial, 10 women will undergo psychological testing, then their ovaries will be stimulated to produce multiple eggs, which will be retrieved, fertilized with sperm in a lab and frozen.
Next comes the search for a donor, which will be conducted by Lifebanc, an organ procurement organization. The donor uterus will take an average of six to eight hours to transplant into the woman’s pelvis, and it will take around 12 months for the uterus to fully heal.
After the transplanted uterus has healed, the frozen embryos will be thawed and implanted into the uterus one by one until the patient becomes pregnant. The patient will need to take medication to prevent the donated uterus from being rejected throughout the pregnancy, and she will receive monthly cervical biopsies to monitor rejection and receive regular monitoring by a high-risk obstetrics team.
The women will give birth via a cesarean section, and after having one or two children, the patient will have the uterus removed. The researchers note that the transplants are not meant to last for the duration of the woman’s life, rather, only for as long as necessary to produce children.
This procedure was first successfully completed in September 2014 in Sweden, when a woman who was born without a uterus underwent a uterus transplant and gave birth to a healthy baby.