The first ever uterus transplant has been planned in the United States, a huge step forward for medicine.
It’s an astonishing new first that could open up huge new possibilities for barren women — doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are planning to transplant a uterus from a deceased donor into a woman without one.
The procedures is schedule a few months from now, depending on the availability of the uterus, and if successful it will allow a woman who has ovaries but no uterus to actually get pregnant and deliver the child, according to a New York Times report.
So far, eight women have signed up to be screened for this procedure. Each of them had either been born without a uterus or have had their uteruses damaged.
The procedure will technically be a clinical trial. It comes on the heels of the first live birth from a uterine transplant in Sweden, although in that case live donors were used. But doctors at the Cleveland Clinic were concerned about putting healthy woman at risk so they wanted to use a uterus from a deceased donor.
After about 10 operations, the hospital will determine whether it should go forward with the procedure.
If successful, about 50,000 women in the United States alone could benefit from this procedure.
There are complications that can come as a result of undergoing this procedure, however. The women have to take drugs to prevent rejection of the transplant, which can have powerful side effects. Also, people undertake a risk whenever they go under the knife, and it will also probably require a future surgery to remove the uterus after a baby or two is born.
It’s a complicated process that will require some planning ahead of time, as the woman will have to use in vitro fertilization in advance and then freezing those eggs as she waits for the uterus transplant.