News & Politics

Uterine Transplants May Allow Men to Give Birth


Developed as a way for infertile women to give birth, uterine transplantation may be the next big thing in the transgender community.

As currently being investigated at the Cleveland Clinic, the procedure calls for collecting a uterus, either from a live donor or a cadaver, and then transplanting it into a woman. Next, an embryo created with in-vitro fertilization is put into it. The baby either develops or doesn’t, but one assumes more embryos can just be created to replace it if something goes wrong.

Then, after being carried to term, the baby is delivered via C-section. But the uteri are only on loan it turns out. After one or two children are successfully created (no doubt with a lot of discarded embryos along the way), the uterus has to either be removed via hysterectomy or allowed to shrivel away.

It’s already been done in Sweden. From a Nov. 13 piece in Yahoo! Health:

Unlike other life saving organ transplants, uterus transplant is considered “life enhancing,” says Andreas Tzakis, the Cleveland Clinic lead investigator in the research study of uterus transplant in the U.S. Doctors in Sweden already have successfully transplanted the organ achieving five pregnancies and four live births.

Apparently, a certain percentage of unsuccessful pregnancies is also acceptable in the name of satisfying the wishes of an adult.

The article also mentioned:

However, [Dr. Tristi W. Muir, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Houston Methodist Hospital] cautions that “this dream does not always have a happy ending.”

“Less than 50 percent of the women who have undergone uterine transplantation have had a baby,” she says. “There are risks to the woman undergoing a transplant including surgical risks and medical risks of rejection and suppression of the immune system to tolerate the transplant. “

But despite the fact that uterine transplants and any subsequent pregnancies are staggeringly expensive, require enormous medical resources, and are dangerous — especially to the baby, which has no choice about whether he or she wants to be part of a science experiment — progress rolls on.

After all, modern medicine can make wishes seemingly come true, at least for those wealthy and privileged enough to afford it.

On Nov. 17, Yahoo! Health reported that, while a woman’s body parts and harvested eggs may be necessary in this procedure (at least for now), being actually born a woman is not.

The answer is yes. Theoretically, men could receive a uterus, carry a baby to term,  and give birth. But what really blew our minds is that the day of male pregnancy is closer than you’d think.

“My guess is five, 10 years away, maybe sooner,” says Dr. Karine Chung, director of the fertility preservation program at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Today, medical advances let transgender women adjust their biochemistry to suppress male and introduce female hormones, have breasts that can lactate, and obtain surgically constructed vaginas that include a “neoclitoris,” which allows sensation.

Women have claimed that they can do anything as well as a man, now the reverse may also be true.