Uterus Transplant: A New Hope for Familyby Elizabeth MacDonald
The science community has done it again. They have created hope. This hope is for women who have suffered the heartache of thinking they would never carry children due to uterine problems. The First Uterine Transplant has not only taken place, but has been accepted by the recipient's body (so far).Lindsey, the recipient, received the first ever uterus transplant and is praying to become pregnant once allowed by her medical team. She has three beautiful (adopted) boys at home already who would love another sibling! Lindsey must wait at least a year to ensure the new uterus is healthy enough to try getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization, using embryos frozen ahead of the operation. To monitor the transplant, she will undergo monthly examinations. Other countries have tried womb transplants. Sweden reported the first successful birth in 2014, with a total of five healthy babies from nine transplants so far. The transplant team at the Cleveland Clinic, which has been exploring the possibility of performing uterus transplants for 10 years, trained with the Swedish surgeons. The Cleveland hospital that performed the transplant has screened more than 250 women to identify 10 who qualify for the clinical trial, those lacking a functional uterus but with healthy ovaries that produce eggs. They must understand the risks - complications from abdominal surgery, plus the possibility that the transplant will fail - and that it's experimental. "We must remember a uterine transplant is not just about a surgery and about moving a uterus from here to there. It's about having a healthy baby," said Cleveland Clinic surgeon Dr. Rebecca Flyckt.
Here at My Baby's Heartbeat Bear, we could not be more hopeful for Lindsey and her family! While there are times that science oversteps its boundaries, this should not be considered anything less than a medical miracle. Being an organ donor saves lives, but going a step beyond, and allowing the uterus to be donated (as it is not on the list of organs approved when becoming a donor) is actually blessing the world with potential new life - countless lives if this procedure works and becomes a possibility for so many others. We cannot wait to be a part of the pregnancies of women who never believed they could carry their own children. Every heartbeat will be cherished.