Uterus transplantation is still highly experimental in 2018, ASRM committee says

American Society for Reproductive Medicine position statement on uterus transplantation: a committee opinion

Following the birth of the first child from a transplanted uterus in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2014, other centers worldwide have produced scientific reports of successful uterus transplantation, as well as more recent media reports of successful births.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recognizes uterus transplantation as the first successful medical treatment of absolute uterus factor infertility, while cautioning health professionals, patient advocacy groups, and the public about its highly experimental nature.

Read American Society for Reproductive Medicine position statement on uterus transplantation: a committee opinion on Fertility and Sterility, September 2018.

Sadly for many DES daughters having their own children is not possible! Many of us who have experienced miscarriages, want to have kids but are struggling or unable to… Find out more about DES pregnancy risks and DES studies on fertility and pregnancy.

The future of human uterine transplantation

Can minimally invasive techniques provide a uterus suitable for transplant?

2017 Abstract

Interest in uterine transplantation for the treatment of uterine factor infertility (UFI) has grown exponentially over the past several years. Following the first birth from this procedure in September 2014, multiple centers worldwide have announced plans to perform clinical trials of uterine transplant. A prominent consideration in creating a protocol is whether to select a living or a nonliving donor model and whether a minimally invasive technique can be successfully used to minimize living donor risk.

Although this study and others will increase optimism for the possibility of a minimally invasive uterus retrieval, no current protocols in humans or animals have yet reported a successful pregnancy using a minimally invasive approach. Although resumption of menstrual function occurred in this case report within two months of transplant, it is unknown whether a uterus drained by the utero-ovarian vessels will be able to support and sustain implantation and ongoing pregnancy in humans.

  • The future of human uterine transplantation: can minimally invasive techniques provide a uterus suitable for transplant?, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Volume 108, Issue 2, Pages 243–244, August 2017.
  • Image of Cleveland Clinic surgeons at work performing the first uterus transplant in the US. credit vox.

Uterus Transplant Procedure part of new Clinical Trial in the U.S.

First clinical trial of uterus transplantation in the US wins approval

drawing of uterine-transplant
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are preparing to transplant a uterus into a woman who lacks one, so she can become pregnant and give birth. If the procedure is successful, any children would be born by cesarean section and the mother would have the transplanted uterus removed after having one or two babies.
Sources: Dr. Tommaso Falcone, Cleveland Clinic; BioDigital by The New York Times.

Ten women in the United States will soon be chosen to undergo the nation’s first uterus transplants, as part of a research study at the Cleveland Clinic.

The procedure is still highly experimental, and not all of the risks are known:

  • Who needs a uterus transplant?
  • Has this been done before?
  • Will the women be able to become pregnant from sex?
  • What are the risks?
  • After the transplant, how long will it be before the women become pregnant?
  • What happens after the women give birth?
Fo more information
  • U.S. Uterus Transplants: 6 Things to Know, livescience, November 13, 2015.
  • Uterus Transplants May Soon Help Some Infertile Women in the U.S. Become Pregnant, The New York Times, NOV. 12, 2015.
  • First clinical trial of uterus transplantation in the US wins approval, medicalnewstoday, 13 November 2015.

Future concerns about womb transplants

UK Womb Transplants: and Ethical Issues

wowb-transplant-surgeon image
How much risk and cost should anybody go through to try and have the opportunity to deliver their own child?
  • Womb transplant is not a lifesaving procedure (people don’t need a womb to survive)…
  • Deceased donors organs could be slightly compromised…
  • Will the immunosuppressant drugs – taken by the pregnant women so that their body does not reject the given organ – affect a developing fetus?

Read UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issues,
livescience, October 01, 2015.

Sadly for many DES daughters having their own children is not possible! Many of us who have experienced miscarriages, want to have kids but are struggling or unable to…
Find out more about DES pregnancy risks and DES studies on fertility and pregnancy.

Womb transplantation approved for ten British women

Womb transplants given UK go-ahead

The first British baby to be born as a result of womb transplantation could arrive as soon as 2017, after doctors in the UK have given the green light for a clinical trial in which ten British women will undergo the procedure. Womb Transplant UK official logo image.

This post content is published by Womb Transplant UK, registered charity 1138559 that wishes to raise £500,000 to fund womb transplantation surgery.

Regulators give permission for ten transplants

The UK Womb Transplant Research team has been granted ethical permission to begin an expanded series of 10 womb transplant operations.

The head of the research team, Mr Richard Smith, a consultant gynaecologist at The Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, said he was delighted with the news:

As we have seen from the tremendously successful womb transplant programme being carried out by our colleagues in Sweden, this operation is clearly a viable option for those women who otherwise have absolutely no chance of carrying their own baby.

“Absolute Infertility can bring with it terrible consequences for as many as 50,000 women of childbearing age in the UK who do not have a viable womb. We hope to begin a series of ten operations early in the New Year. However, we still need to raise around half a million pounds so that we can cover the costs of NHS services and complete our programme,” he said.

The womb transplant research programme will be open to women in a long term relationship, who are aged between 25 and 38 and who have normally functioning ovaries and their own eggs. They will be UK resident and will be eligible for NHS care.

The research team have received hundreds of requests from infertile women in recent years and currently has 104 women who meet the basic requirements for potential inclusion on the programme.

To find out more about Uterine Transplantation, please visit our fact sheet by clicking here.

To make a donation please visit UK Womb Transplant donate page or write to info@WombTransplantUK.org or call 0207 730 7077.

Sources and more information

  • UK Womb Transplant Research Team receives go-ahead to begin operations,
    Womb Transplant UK, 29 Sep 2015.
  • First 10 womb transplants approved to be carried out in the UK,
    generalandmedical, 30/09/2015..
  • Womb transplantation approved for 10 British women,
    medicalnewstoday, Wednesday 30 September 2015.

Transplantation utérine: des greffes d’utérus vont être tentées en France

La transplantation utérine ; une alternative aux mères porteuses?

image de femme-regardant-la-mer
Mardi 23 juin, l’Académie nationale de médecine a adopté un rapport sur la transplantation utérine. Image Markus M.

Après avoir fait le récit des événements qui ont précédé la première transplantation utérine ayant abouti à la naissance d’un enfant vivant et bien portant et fait un état des lieux, les auteurs exposent la législation française actuelle sur la greffe d’organes. Puis, ils abordent les aspects cliniques, insistant sur la complexité de l’acte chirurgical, le dilemme du choix entre donneuse en état de mort cérébrale ou décédée et donneuse vivante, et les indications chez la receveuse. Ils décrivent ensuite le traitement immunosuppresseur avant et pendant la grossesse, les complications plus ou moins graves qui peuvent en émailler le cours et la surveillance particulièrement attentive qu’elles nécessitent, mais aussi les doutes sur l’opportunité de l’allaitement maternel. Ils s’interrogent sur l’avenir de l’enfant à moyen et long terme, son développement psychomoteur et celui de son système immunitaire. Ils retracent les nombreuses et délicates questions éthiques que pose la transplantation utérine, qu’il s’agisse des particularités de la greffe d’utérus, qui n’est pas vitale mais permet de donner la vie, du choix entre transplantation avec donneuse en état de mort cérébrale ou donneuse vivante, de la pénurie d’organes à greffer, des risques courus par la receveuse, du devenir physique et psychologique de l’enfant, enfin du choix entre transplantation utérine et gestation pour autrui et de l’éventualité de dérives. En fait, la transplantation utérine est une chirurgie encore au stade expérimental et seuls l’avenir et le recueil exhaustif de toutes les données la concernant permettront de s’assurer de son bien fondé.

En savoir plus

World’s First Womb-Transplant Baby Born

A woman in Sweden has given birth to a baby boy using a transplanted womb, in a medical first

Early this year, nine women in Sweden had received uterus transplants in an experimental fertility project. The project even included a first live-donor uterus transplant from mother to child. A baby boy, was born prematurely last month , almost 32 weeks into the pregnancy. Both mum and first womb-transplant baby are now said to be doing well. The successful birth is the result of more than 15 years of research.

Sources and more information:

Nine Swedish women receive uterus transplants

Pregnancy after New Womb, the @UniOfGothenburg Live-Donor Uterus Transplant Project, 2014

Nine women in Sweden have received uterus transplants from living relatives in an experimental fertility project. The patients in this trial headed by Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg are mostly women in their 30s who had lost their uterus to cancer or were born without one. The series of transplants took off in September 2012, with donors including the mothers and relatives of the recipients. These women will soon try to get pregnant, Brannstrom said in a CBS report.
Video by TomoNews US, Published on 13 Feb 2014.

In this procedure, a radical hysterectomy is performed on the donor to remove the uterus, cervix and surrounding blood vessels, which will then be implanted to ensure adequate blood flow needed to sustain the uterus. Since the transplanted womb is not connected to the recipient’s fallopian tubes through which eggs are released, natural fertilisation cannot occur in the uterus. Instead, mature eggs will be extracted from the recipient and implanted to the uterus after performing in vitro fertilisation. When the uterus recipient has carried the fetus to full term, the baby is delivered by Caesarian section. The uterus recipient needs to remain on an extensive anti-rejection drug regimen, and the uterus is expected to be removed after a maximum of two pregnancies so the women can be taken off the anti-rejection drugs.

Mats has done something amazing and we understand completely why he has taken this route, but we are wary of that approach,” said Dr. Richard Smith, head of the U.K. charity Womb Transplant UK. Smith is trying to raise 500,000 pounds ($823,000) to carry out five operations in Great Britain.

Two uterus transplants in Turkey and Saudi Arabia had failed to produce successful pregnancies. Similar procedures are currently under development in Hungary and the UK..

More info and Videos

Uterine Transplants: first live-Donor Uterus Transplants from Mother to Child, in Sweden

Dr. Mats Brannstrom led the team of doctors

Dr. Mats Brannstrom image
Dr. Mats Brannstrom led the team of doctors performing two mother-daughter uterine transplants in Sweden.

Two Swedish women have received new wombs donated by their mothers in the first mother-to-daughter uterine transplants… … So far, the procedures have been a success, but the final proof of success will be the birth of a healthy child
said Dr. Michael Olausson, Surgeon and Professor.

Read First mother-daughter womb transplants performed in Sweden, CNN, September 20, 2012.