US women report successful pregnancies after uterus transplant

July 15, 2022
US women report successful pregnancies after uterus transplant

A small group of American women who each received a uterus through a transplant went on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies – more specifically, 19 out of 33 women (58%) delivered a total of 21 babies.

About 83% of recipients had their babies delivered by Caesarean section, at an average of 14 months after the transplant, with more than half born after 36 weeks’ gestation. In 74% of recipients, the uterus was reported to still be functioning one-year post-transplant.

According to a study, the women had absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI) – meaning they were either born without a uterus or needed to have it removed. The women had undergone uterus transplants performed at Baylor University Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

The transplanted uterus was, however, removed after the recipient gave birth, to avoid the need for life-long use of immunosuppressive drugs.

More than a million US women could potentially benefit from uterus transplantation, said study lead Dr. Liza Johannesson of Baylor University Medical Center. Although cost might prove to be a barrier for some women and some insurance companies may refuse to cover it, a uterus transplant remains a de facto fertility treatment.

“Insurance coverage for uterus transplantation is part of a larger discussion involving coverage for infertility care in general,” Dr. Johannesson said.


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