Uterine Transplant: A Breakthrough for Making Moms


DALLAS, Texas (Ivanhoe Newswire) — If you’ve been trying to have a baby but are having problems conceiving, you are not alone. In fact, one in five women are unable to get pregnant after one-year of trying. There are many reasons. The most common cause of female infertility is failure to ovulate. There are many treatment options, including IVF. But what about those women who suffer from other conditions that are not treatable? What are their options? Until now, they were faced with surrogacy or adoption. But as Ivanhoe reports, there is another way. Uterine transplant

Finally! Little Indy Pearl Edwards made her appearance in the world. It took her parents three years to reach this moment.

Indy Pearl’s mom says, “It’s still surreal to me. I get to wake up with her every morning and be like, oh my gosh, you’re mine forever.”

Kayla, was born with uterine-factory infertility. Her uterus just didn’t function correctly.

“Uterine-factory infertility has for a long, long time been considered the last barrier of infertility. These are women that thought that they would never, ever become pregnant and carry a child and they adapted their lives to that, but it was devastating for them.” Explains Liza Johannesson, MD, Gynecological Surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

An untreatable condition until recently.

Doctor Johannesson says, “A uterine transplantation will give you the ability to carry a pregnancy and to deliver your own child.”

Ob/gyn Liza Johannesson at Baylor University Medical Center is part of a team studying whether or not a uterine transplant from either a living or deceased donor, is a good option for women like Kayla.  They found that out of 33 women who received a transplant, 21 babies have been born.

“When you can actually get them pregnant and then deliver, the amount of joy you, you can’t describe that. It’s fantastic,” says Doctor Johannesson.

Three months after her uterine transplant, Kayla tried her first round of IVF. It didn’t work. Two more rounds, still no pregnancy. Then on their last try, with their last embryo …Kayla says, “I didn’t even think I was pregnant. I had no symptoms. I was like, it didn’t work. And I remember taking a pregnancy test and literally having a panic attack. Like, oh my gosh, we saw the words, pregnant and it was amazing.”

Her pregnancy went as planned and now … Kayla says, “I feel like I’m literally holding a miracle every day.”

The best candidates for a uterine transplant are healthy women between the ages of 20 and 40. After having the baby, women can decide whether to try for a second child or have the transplanted uterus removed.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Deke Jones, Videographer




REPORT #3022 

BACKGROUND: In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year (or longer) of unprotected sex. Because fertility in women is known to decline steadily with age, some providers evaluate and treat women aged 35 years or older after six months of unprotected sex. In the United States, among heterosexual women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, about 19% are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying. Also, about 26% women in this group have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Absolute uterine factor infertility is a condition where a woman cannot get pregnant because she either doesn’t have a uterus or her uterus is no longer functioning correctly. This can be congenital (a condition you’re born with) or acquired. In acquired cases, the uterus has usually been removed during a hysterectomy. Uterine factor infertility affects about 3-5% of the population and it is a a primary cause of infertility in women. It is also associated with an increase in miscarriage and pre-term delivery rates.

(Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20infertility%20is%20defined,6%20months%20of%20unprotected%20sex




DIAGNOSIS: The main symptom of infertility is the inability to get pregnant. A menstrual cycle that’s too long, which could be 35 days or more, too short (less than 21 days), irregular, or absent can mean that you’re not ovulating. There might be no other signs or symptoms. Ovulating infrequently or not at all accounts for most cases of infertility. Problems with the regulation of reproductive hormones by the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland or problems in the ovary can cause ovulation disorders. A few causes for infertility are polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, hypothalamic dysfunction, primary ovarian insufficiency, or too much protein. But in some cases, the cause of infertility is never found. A combination of several minor factors in both partners could cause unexplained fertility problems. Although it’s frustrating to get no specific answer, this problem can correct itself with time. But you shouldn’t delay treatment for infertility.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/female-infertility/symptoms-causes/syc-20354308)

NEW REGULATIONS: A Cleveland Clinic research trial was the first in the United States to offer uterus transplant to women suffering from uterine factor infertility, or UFI. These woman cannot carry a pregnancy and were born without a uterus or have lost their uterus. Since Cleveland Clinic began the clinical trial, the team has has completed eight uterus transplants where six were technically successful, with four livebirths thus far. If the woman is approved for the procedure, the process starts with creating an embryo using IVF. Next, a healthy uterus is transplanted into the patient. About six months after a successful uterus transplant, a single embryo is implanted into the uterus. If it leads to a successful pregnancy, the pregnancy is treated as high risk, and the baby will be delivered via Cesarean section, because women with UFI cannot delivery vaginally. Babies born from uterus transplant recipients tend to be born early, at about 35 weeks of gestation. The entire process can take 2-5 years.

(Sources: www.clevelandclinic.org/lp/uterus-transplant/index.html


* For More Information, Contact:                                    

Deke Jones


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