Uterine Transplants… A New Day has Dawned

Holy Hormones Journal:  New red flag  terminology is on the horizon “creating families” instead of “birthing families,” “uterine factor infertility,” and I guess we could throw in “advanced reproductive care.”

I think I posted this article at the end of last year… but am posting again because of an email I received yesterday from an agent representing a doctor who is ready to discuss this issue on my radio show.

 In a significant step in the future of artificial reproductive technologies (ART), doctors in Sweden announced last year the birth of the first baby 07.25.15 Uterine Transplantborn from a donated uterus.  The new mother was born without a uterus and received a uterine transplant which accepted the mother’s egg that was fertilized using in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to this doctor,  “…the development is cause for cautious optimism. ‘The mother of this child was part of a study to determine the viability of what is called uterine factor infertility.’  Women born without a uterus who want to conceive represented the last untreatable form of female infertility until the successful birth from this mother.   The study consisted of nine women who received uteruses from live donors.  Two transplants failed while three of the remaining seven delivered healthy babies.

An important aspect of the study was the psychological well-being of the patients.   ‘… As fertility specialists, we are extremely sensitive to the unique emotional and physical stresses of our patients and their families.  It is our responsibility to learn about our patients, provide honest appraisals and to find the optimal solution that will bring a new life into the world under the best possible circumstances for mother and child.’ Doctor ‘can comment on your stories relating to the knowledge both psychologically, emotionally and medically in terms of the future of fertility and how it is evolving currently.’

Perhaps this post will help someone who is struggling to get pregnant…and I am hoping to get this doctor on my radio show.

But I also see this as the medicalization of reproduction – the last bastion of a woman’s domain. I feel that we are being prepared for a time (on the horizon) where women’s reproductive systems will be so compromised they will be missing the very elements that make us unique and give us power.

Is this the future of fertility – is this how it is evolving?

I would be more concerned with why women are losing their ability to give birth – missing essential endocrine and reproductive organs instead of paving the way for a new medical technology.

A uterus from another woman? What are the medical implications… what toxins has this woman been exposed to – genes – viruses – recombinant viruses? How about family history of disease… what kind of blood disorders… what kind of mutations?

Again, this goes back to what is it in our environment that is causing these abnormalities? And what does it look like for the body parts trade?

It is a frightening brave new world…

A First: Uterus Transplant Gives Parents A Healthy Baby

National Public Radio
October 2014

In what’s being hailed as a huge step in fertility and reproduction science, doctors in Sweden say a woman has given birth to a baby boy less than two years

baby boy to a uterine transplant recipient last month, a first in medical science.

baby boy to a uterine transplant recipient last month, a first in medical science.

after she received a uterus transplant. The new mother, 36, had been born without a uterus, so another woman, 61, donated her womb several years after she had gone through menopause.

The successful birth was reported by Dr. Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg, where a research program has performed uterine transplants on nine women. The program’s findings are being published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

“The recipient had intact ovaries and was able to produce eggs, which were then fertilized using IVF” before the transplant, NPR’s Patti Neighmond reports. “The resulting embryos were transferred to her uterus. Doctors were concerned about compromised blood flow to the fetus, but it turned out blood flow was normal.”

The baby was delivered by cesarean section in September, after his mother developed preeclampsia in the 31st week of the pregnancy. He was sent home 10 days after being born.

“The baby is fantastic,” Brannstrom tells the AP. “But it is even better to see the joy in the parents and how happy he made them.”

The parents haven’t been identified, but the AP spoke with the baby’s father, who said of his son, “He’s no different from any other child, but he will have a good story to tell.”

The parents will have to decide whether they want to try for another baby. During pregnancy, the mother took “triple immunosuppression medications (tacrolimus, azathioprine, and corticosteroids),” according to the Medscape site. To avoid long-term damage from those medications, the BBC reports, they’ll need to either try for another pregnancy or have the womb removed.

 

Read full article…

 

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.