While watching the news the other day I saw that a woman delivered the first baby in the United States via a transplanted uterus and it got me thinking: “would you consider a uterus transplant?” The NBC Nightly News reported that 1 in 500 women are infertile. However, a woman is considered infertile after trying to conceive for over a year without success.
Uterine transplants offer women who were born without a uterus, or had it removed due to illness or complications from childbirth a new hope to someday conceive a child. It is estimated that 50,000 women in the United States could be eligible for this process. This transplant is temporary and only left in place for a woman to have up to two children.
Even though this was the first baby born in the United States to a woman who received a uterine transplant from a live donor, this is definitely not the first baby ever. Sweden was the first country to have a successful birth via uterine transplant in 2013. Saudi Arabia had unsuccessful uterine transplant attempts back in 2000. So this technology has come a long way!
The woman that delivered the baby chose to stay anonymous, along with the actual date of birth, and their hometown. However, we do know that the baby was delivered at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas by Dr. Robert T. Gunby Jr. last month.
Right now, the women receiving these transplants are participants of a clinical trial and the process is experimental so the cost is covered by research. However, if this becomes a part of medical practice it is not clear if insurance will cover the procedure. If insurance doesn’t cover it, you can bet it will be a very expensive process.
Since the uterus isn’t an organ needed in order to survive, donors can be living or cadaveric. As with any transplant, there are risks. The Cleveland Clinic performed the first transplant surgery using a cadaveric donor in the U.S in 2016, but had to remove it via emergency surgery due to an infection. It also appears there is more risk to the living donors because surgeons have to carefully separate the veins and aortic arteries that provide nourishment to the uterus. However, the aortic arteries and veins are wrapped around the ureters (the two tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder).
So this begs the question, would you consider a uterus transplant if given the option? Would you be willing to be a living donor to a family member or friend in desperate need? I personally would take my chances and would be grateful to have a living or cadaveric donor. When trying to conceive women go through great lengths to achieve this goal. If I was born without a uterus or had to have it removed for whatever reason, I would definitely consider this procedure even while it is experimental.
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this, so please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at: Tiffany@ToBeFruitful.com