A leading fertility specialist believes that it is only a matter of time before transgender women could get pregnant by way of uterus transplants. While plausible, he says it would be a very complicated procedure which would require a team of experts.
'They Could Do It Tomorrow'
Advancements in science have led the human race to complete incredible feats. Now, a leading fertility expert believes that we are on the verge of completing yet another feat as he states that transgender women, or those who were born male before transitioning, would soon be able to have the opportunity to get pregnant with the help of a uterus transplant.
During the 2017 Scientific Congress & Expo of the American Society For Reproductive Medicine, the organization president, Dr. Richard Paulson, stated his confidence that transgender women could soon be able to have a uterus transplant. In fact, when asked when a transgender woman could get a uterus transplant, he confidently said "[t]hey could do it tomorrow."
Only a few cases of uterus transplant has been done around the world, and less than ten babies have been born from women who received their wombs via the transplant. It is a complicated procedure as the uterus is near major blood vessels, and immunosuppressant treatments have to be given to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted organ.
The case is the same for possible future uterus transplants for trans women, according to Dr. Paulson. Although the procedure and pregnancy from a transplanted uterus is technically possible, it would still be very complicated and would require a large team of experts.
A major hurdle for pregnancies from transplanted wombs is that the doctors would have to be certain that the uterus would function well during the pregnancy as the risk falls largely on the life of the fetus. A rupture of the uterus could lead to permanent disablement or even death of the child.
Despite his confidence, the procedure remains experimental, and considerations must be made for the possible psychological effect on the child who will be born in such an unusual manner. According to Julian Suvalescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University, the psychological benefits of having the mother carry her own child must be weighed against possible psychological impacts on the child.
In the UK, using In Vitro Fertilization on a man is illegal under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 2008. That said, experts at the expo also highlighted the importance of informing transgender individuals regarding fertility preservation prior to transitioning, which includes informing them of the need to use birth control when still needed.