New surgical procedures could enable men and transwomen to carry a child in less than 10 years
Last week the Cleveland Clinic announced that it is performing uterus transplant surgery on women who were born without a womb or whose uterus is malfunctioning.
This revelation means that theoretically men and transgender women could receive a uterus, carry a baby to term, and give birth.
While the surgery is “still considered highly experimental” according to Cleveland Clinic doctor Tommaso Falcone, a Swedish research team from the University of Gothenberg has performed nine uterus transplants to date, achieving five pregnancies and four live births.
“The exciting work from the investigators in Sweden demonstrated that uterine transplantation can result in the successful delivery of healthy infants,” says Cleveland Clinic lead investigator Andreas Tzakis.
And the offer of this transplant to men and transwomen may not be that far away.
“My guess is five 10 years away, maybe sooner,” Dr Karine Chung, director of the fertility preservation program at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, told Yahoo Health.
”Today, medical advances let transgender women adjust their biochemistry to suppress male and introduce female hormones, have breasts that can lactate, and obtain surgically constructed vaginas that include a ‘neoclitoris’, which allows sensation,” Chung said.
While there are still issues to be addressed, such as a lack of pelvic ligaments designed to support a uterus, a cervix, and the issue of transferring an embryo into a transplanted womb without a vagina, such obstacles could be overcome.
“Male and female anatomy is not that different,” says Chung. “Probably at some point, somebody will figure out how to make that work.”
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