After Sweden, US hospital is getting ready to offer uterine transplants for women suffering with infertility. Infertility due to uterine problems affects thousands of women around the world and until now only few options have existed other than surrogacy or adoption.
The Cleveland Clinic will be the first hospital in the United States to offer transplanted uteruses to 10 women beginning in the next few months.
‘Uterine Transplants are emerging as a boon for women with infertility as the existing options are only surrogacy and adoption.’
"The clinical trial is open to women of childbearing age who are unable to become pregnant because they were born without a uterus, have lost their uterus, or have a uterus that no longer functions," said a hospital statement.
The first uterine transplant was conducted by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The tranplant became successful after it achieved its first birth. However, the first two international attempts at uterus transplants in Saudi Arabia and Turkey were unsuccessful.
"To date, the Swedish group has performed nine uterus transplants, achieving five pregnancies and four live births," said the Cleveland Clinic.
The transplants are temporary and will come from deceased donors. The organ will be removed after the recipient is able to bear one or two children. Organ rejection during pregnancy has been a key problem.
"The exciting work from the investigators in Sweden demonstrated that uterine transplantation can result in the successful delivery of healthy infants," said Andreas Tzakis, Cleveland Clinic lead investigator.
"The approach is still considered highly experimental. Cleveland Clinic has a history of innovation in transplant and reproductive surgery and will explore the feasibility of this approach for women in the United States," said Tommaso Falcone, an obstetrician and chair of the Cleveland Clinic Women's Health Institute.
Women aged 21- 39 are already being screened for potential candidates by the hospital and those women who are selected for the study must agree to have her eggs retrieved, then fertilized and the embryos frozen until they are ready for transplantation.
"One year after transplant, the frozen embryos are then thawed and implanted, one at a time, into the patient until she becomes pregnant," said the hospital.