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The inability to have a baby naturally can be devastating for those women affected. Whilst many are happy to go through the current available options, such as surrogacy, IVF or adoption, these options aren’t readily available to all women, for a number of reasons, including financial restraints. For those who are medically incapable of going through IVF, until now this meant they would never be able to experience pregnancy. Thanks to new research however, this could all change.
Research and Trials
There have been several studies done worldwide, investigating the possibility and plausibility of transplanting a uterus. To date, the trials have been quite successful, and babies have been born to mothers who have had the transplant. However, like any new medical procedure, there still needs to be further research, trials and discussions about the ethical side of such a procedure.
The UK is about to undergo their own study and trial. It will comprise of 10 women who are aged between 25 and 38 without a uterus. The reason for the lack of uterus is not important, unless there is a serious underlying medical condition that may result in further complications of the transplant. The study will involve the use of the women’s eggs that will then be used to create an embryo. The embryos will be implanted into the transplanted uterus.
Because of the nature of organ transplants, the women will have to be on regular immunosuppressant drugs, to stop their body from rejecting the transplanted uterus. Normally, after an organ transplant, these drugs are needed for the rest of the person’s life. However, because the transplanted uterus is only viable for 2 pregnancies and is then removed, this means they only need the drugs until the uterus is taken out.
Is It Really Necessary?
There is some question as to whether this type of expensive surgery is really necessary. Many feel that because it is not a lifesaving transplant, unlike a liver or kidney, the risks outweigh the personal need to get pregnant. But, for women who are unable to have children, this surgery could in effect be lifesaving to them, as some feel they are less of a woman if they can’t have babies. Therefore, the uterus transplant could be a positive event for the quality of life of a woman.