Friday, 13 November 2015

Uterus Transplants to Help Infertile Women

Within the next few months, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic expect to become the first in the United States to transplant a uterus from a deceased woman into a woman who lacks one, so that she can become pregnant and give birth.

In the research study, Cleveland Clinic will perform the surgery on 10 women with the hopes of getting them pregnant, the New York Times reports.

The recipients will be women who were either born without a uterus, had it removed or have uterine damage.

However, the transplants will be temporary: each uterus will be removed after the recipient has had one or two babies, so she can stop taking transplant anti-rejection drugs.

The process begins with the patient's ovaries being stimulated to produce eggs, which are retrieved and fertilized with sperm in a labratory. Once a donor uterus is located from a dead woman, the transplant surgery occurs and the patient heals over a 12-month process.

One year after the transplant, the frozen embryos are thawed and implanted into the uterus until the patient becomes pregnant. After that, she begins taking anti-rejection drugs.

So far, Sweden is the only country where uterine transplants have been completed successfully — all at the University of Gothenburg with a uterus from a live donor. Nine women have had them, and four have given birth, the first in September 2014. Another is due in January. Their babies were born healthy, though premature. Two transplants failed and had to be removed, one because of a blood clot and the other because of infection.

Meanwhile, the UK’s first womb transplant is set to take place next year as part of a clinical trial in which 10 women will get the chance to carry their own babies.

Educational notes

There are 3 conditions responsible for uterine agenesis (a condition in which a girl is born without a uterus).

They include:

1. Müllerian agenesis, also called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome or MRKH.

2. MURCS association (a variant of Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome), a very rare developmental disorder that primarily affects the reproductive and urinary systems involving MUllerian agenesis, Renal agenesis, Cervicothoracic Somite abnormalities. It affects only females.

3. Androgen sensitivity syndrome (AIS) – a condition in which patients have a normal female appearance outwardly, but internally they lack the female reproductive organs

Famous People Born Without a Uterus

1. Queen Amalia of Greece was found post mortem to have had the syndrome. Her inability to provide an heir contributed to the overthrow of her husband, King Otto.

2. Jaclyn Schultz, Miss Michigan 2013 winner has Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome.

3. Model, Tabitha Taya.

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