First uterus transplant in the U.S. offers pregnancy hope

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A 26-year-old patient undergoes a uterine transplant, the first in the US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Photo by Cleveland Clinic

A 26-year-old patient undergoes a uterine transplant, the first in the US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Photo by Cleveland Clinic

Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the nation’s first uterus transplant, offering a 26-year-old infertile woman a chance at getting pregnant.

The procedure took place in a nine-hour surgery Wednesday, the Cleveland Clinic announced. The woman, whose name was not released, received the uterus from a deceased donor. She was in stable condition Thursday, the clinic said, but declined to release any further details.

The surgery is part of a clinical trial that aims to give 10 women new uteruses and usher them through pregnancy to birth. The transplants will be temporary, the Cleveland Clinic has said: after the recipient has given birth, the uterus will be removed, so that she can stop taking antirejection drugs.

The experiment builds on groundbreaking work in Sweden that proved that uterus transplants can reverse infertility. After two failed efforts, a team from the University of Gothenberg helped the first woman with a uterus transplant give birth in 2014. A total of four Swedish women had given birth after uterine transplants at the end of last year, according to the New York Times.

“I crave that experience,” one of the Cleveland Clinic’s prospective recipients, also 26 years old, told the Times in November. “I want the morning sickness, the backaches, the feet swelling. I want to feel the baby move. That is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember.”

This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on February 25, 2016. Find the original story here.

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