US Breakthrough in Womb Transplants Offers New Hope

1 of 4 living donor transplants at Baylor looks promising
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2016 12:03 PM CDT
US Breakthrough in Womb Transplants Offers New Hope
A womb transplant is performed in Sweden in 2014.   (AP Photo/University of Gothenburg, Johan Wingborg)

America's first uterus transplant might have failed, but doctors are "cautiously optimistic" that one of the country's first living donor womb transplants could be a success. Surgeons at Baylor University Medical Center say they performed the living donor transplants on four women, aged 20 to 35—each born without a uterus—between Sept. 14 and 22, reports Time. The first three transplants failed over lack of blood flowing to the organs, donated by unrelated women aged 35 to 60. Those organs have been removed from the patients, who are recuperating, per CNN. The fourth patient, however, is "showing good blood flow to the uterus. There are also no signs of rejection or infection at this time," the hospital says.

"She could ultimately become the first uterine transplant recipient in the US to make it to the milestone of uterine functionality," the hospital adds. If the transplant is successful, the patient can undergo in vitro fertilization in six months to a year. A natural pregnancy is impossible since the uterus isn't connected to the patient's ovaries. Baylor's team—including two Swedish doctors who've performed nine living donor transplants since 2012, including five who've since given birth—plan to perform six more transplants this year. First, however, it's reviewing the unsuccessful cases to determine what went wrong. "It's something we've learned a lot from," a surgeon says. "This is the beginning of hopefully a great history for medicine." (More uterus transplant stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.