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Women who have uterus transplants are now able to give birth

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What’s a uterus transplant? In a nutshell, this is a surgical procedure which transplants a healthy uterus into a person who has an absent or diseased uterus.

The danger of uterus transplants

If you’re not familiar with these, here’s what you need to know: uterus transplants are notoriously tricky procedures. The earliest such transplant that we know of dates way back to 1931; however, this was an unsuccessful attempt, with the patient dying from organ rejection three months after the surgery. After in-vitro fertilization became an option in the 1970s, uterine transplantation research took a back seat; even today, uterine transplants aren’t popular or widely attempted procedures.

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Uterus transplants and fertility

Women who have absent or diseased uterus, as a strict rule of thumb, are unable to undergo normal embryonic implantation. Many of these women opt for alternative methods of conceiving – for example, using a combination of their own eggs and IVF technology to have surrogate mothers carry their babies. But a select few have opted to undergo uterus transplants, in the hopes of being able to conceive the traditional way.

For these women, tremendous strides have been made in the past few years. In 2014, a significant milestone was attained when Swedish doctors delivered a healthy 3.9-pound baby from a woman who had a successful uterus transplant. The US was admittedly a little late to the game, and only performed their first uterus transplant in 2016. That having been said, they’ve just recently achieved the same feat of successfully delivering a baby from a woman who had a uterus transplant.  

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America’s first baby born from a woman who underwent a uterus transplant

The birth took place in Baylor University Medical Centre in Dallas, and is part of a larger effort to replicate the success of the Swedish hospital that pioneered the procedure. In total, doctors at Baylor University Medical Centre have administered uterus transplants on eight women. Out of these eight women, four had to have their organs surgically removed due to unsuccessful procedures. Out of the remaining four, one lady has conceived, one lady is pregnant, and two are currently trying to get pregnant.

In trying to expand the limits of the procedure, the doctors at Baylor University Medical Centre have used donated uteri which aren’t from family members, and even uteri from deceased patients. Whilst the recent birth in Dallas is a huge step forward for couples struggling with infertility issues (due to diseased or problematic uteri), uterus transplants still have a long way to go before they become a viable method of assisted conception.

Fertility consultation with BeNatural’s fertility coach, Marie Otsuka

If you and your partner would like to learn more about conceiving, come down for a 45-minute consultation with Marie Otsuka, BeNatural’s fertility coach. In this session, Marie will seek to understand the couple’s situation, and offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans. Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!

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