What is a Uterus Transplant and how dangerous is it?

While having children is not a goal for every single woman, there are many women who would like to conceive and give birth to a child at some point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, sometimes there are challenges experienced when trying to conceive a child. Making it difficult, and in some cases not possible, for a woman to give birth to children naturally. Thankfully, there has been vast amount of advances in medical technology allowing for people who experience infertility to become pregnant. According to the National Center for Disease Control 18% of women in the U.S are either unable to become pregnant after the first year of trying (infertile), or have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Thankfully, there has been vast amount of advances in medical technology allowing for people who experience infertility to become pregnant and carry out a pregnancy.

One of the most recent and highly technical medical procedures infertility experts have attempted is the uterus transplant. Uterine transplantation is defined as a surgical procedure where a healthy uterus is transplanted into an organism in which the uterus is absent or diseased. The procedure is still very new, however, and there have been a total of only 16 women globally who have undergone the surgery. The first U.S women successfully gave birth with a uterus transplant in November 2017. There have been eight other babies born to women who had uterus transplants, all in Sweden. Little information has published in regards to the risks and associated symptoms experienced with uterine transplants. What has been reported about the procedure is:

  • The process is complicated and has considerable risks for both recipients and donors.
  • Some dangerous factors include potential organ rejection and surgery risks
  • The pregnancies that have been successful were high risk
  • The transplants are still in the experimental stage. Current transplants have been covered by research funding.
  • If the surgery becomes part of medical practice, it will probably cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Since uterus transplants are still a rare procedure for women facing infertility issues, the National Women Health Network points to the many other treatment options available for people experiencing infertility challenges.

 

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