A baby born at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas from a transplanted uterus has given hope to thousands of women who are unable to give birth.
Women who were born without a uterus, or those who lost their uterus due to illnesses such as cancer or from complications during childbirth, now have the option of undergoing a uterus transplant to try to bear children.
How Does A Uterus Transplant Surgery Work?
There have been at least 16 uterus transplants all over the world and since 2014, there are now a total of nine babies born from a transplanted uterus. The first eight babies, however, were all in Sweden at Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
The uterus transplant procedure begins with womb donors, who can be dead or alive. While the uterus transplants in Sweden were all from live donors, with most from the mothers or sisters of recipients, the Baylor study looks to use donations from both the living and the deceased. For the first baby in the U.S born from a transplanted uterus, the donation came from Taylor Siler, a Dallas nurse and mother of two, who wanted to give other women a chance to give birth.
The uterus transplant is only a temporary procedure, with the uterus kept in the recipient's body just long enough for them give birth to one or two children. The uterus will then be removed so that the recipient may stop taking the drugs necessary to prevent her body from rejecting the transplanted organ. The drugs carry long-term risks to the recipient's health, so it is not advised to take them for longer than that.
Women who are hoping to be part of Baylor study should be between 20 and 35 years old and must have healthy ovaries. They will first undergo in vitro fertilization to produce embryos that may be frozen until the time is right to attempt a pregnancy after the uterus transplant. The embryos will be thawed and implanted in about a year after the uterus transplant to make sure that the organ is working properly.
Once the recipient is ready to give birth, the baby will be delivered through a cesarean section.
First Successful Birth From Transplanted Uterus In US
The first successful birth of a baby from a transplanted uterus in the U.S. is a major breakthrough as it shows that the procedure can also find success outside of Sweden.
The Baylor University Medical Center, however, is now hoping that more women will be able to undergo the surgery and fulfill their dream of giving birth to their own children.