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Uterine Transplant Offers Hope to Women with Infertility

a blog by Kim Griffiths, March 17, 2013

A young woman who received the first successful uterus transplant is now planning for pregnancy via frozen embyro transfer.

Derya Sert was just 21 years old when she received the uterus of a cadaver donor last year. Sert was born without a uterus and would have had to rely on a gestational surrogate to carry a pregnancy for her. However, research efforts in Turkey allowed Sert to undergo the organ transplant and has prompted similar research in other parts of the world.

Currently, Sert is under the careful watch of Professor Ömer Özkan, and medical teams who are monitoring hormone levels before allowing her to attempt an embryo transfer in one to two months. She is estimated to have a 40-50% chance at successfully conceiving, which are strong odds even for an average IVF patient.

The uterine transplant procedure has opened the door to fertility research in other countries, and if successful, will provide new fertility treatment therapies for women with uterine cancer, history of recurrent pregnancy loss, those born without a uterus, or those with severe endometriosis.

A medical team in Sweden used a live-donor approach to their research, transferring the uteruses of two 50-year-old women to their daughters. Scientists in the United States are also working on uterine transplant research. These transplants will likely be temporary- just long enough to allow the woman to deliver one or two children- so they will not have to endure long term use of immunosuppressive drugs (to prevent their bodies from rejecting the donor organ). Frozen embryos will be transferred into the uterus recipients once they have proven to accept the organ donations. The uteruses will later be removed via hysterectomy.

How's that for amazing science?

Comments (7)

Hello Suzette, Unfortunately at this time this is not a service provided by the doctors in America. Thank you, Bhavi

I had to have a hysterectomy at a very young age. I was only 18 and never had any children. I'm now almost 23 & married the love of my life 2 years ago. We both don't have children and our hearts and lives feel so empty. I feel so guilty I can't give him the family we want. Please please help us.

I'm so sorry to hear your story. Currently uterine transplants are in the research stage here in the U.S. Another way you might be able to have a baby is with a surrogate - a woman who carries a baby for you, using your eggs and your husband's sperm (Assuming you have healthy eggs and sperm. Otherwise, donors may be used.) We have a lot of information on surrogacy on the site. If you are interested in pursuing it, please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

At this point, uterine transplant is in the research stage only. One option for you might be surrogacy. If you'd like more information, please let me know. Best, Claire

Hello Doctors, am a 43 yr. old ad had to have my uterus taken because of in 2003 because of heavy bleeding. I have three grown children and I have remarried to a wonderful ma that has no children of his own. When I the Doctors removed mine they left both of my ovaries and I started feeling lie something was missing in my life and I knew what it right, my gift to give birth to a baby,I didn't feel like a woman anymore...Please help me and others that long to have this gift that God has given us to have babies...

I really happy nd thanks to doctors team for uterus transplant hi doc I m 31 year old n I have one daughter she is in 11 year old.i m waiting for this treatment for many years because I don't have a uterus my doctors.had removed my uterus after my delivery so some circumstances but I have ovaries nd my gynecologist suggesting me surrogate but my in laws are not allow me nd only that reason is my husband take me divorce he wants male child nd. now you have been starting for this treatment so pls doctors cll me I want uterus transplant it's my humble request pls

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