Womb transplants mean pregnancy for biological men

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Womb transplants mean pregnancy for biological men

Postby Miki Yamuri » Tue Aug 22, 2023 9:09 pm

The Telegraph


Womb transplants mean pregnancy for biological men in next 10 years

By: Laura Donnelly

Tue, August 22, 2023 at 7:01 PM EDT

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Last week, womb transplant surgeons in the US suggested they were on the cusp of allowing transgender women to give

birth to their own children.

British surgeons are more circumspect.

Around the world, more than 90 womb transplants have been carried out, with most operations involving a living donor,

and all on biological women.

On Wednesday, surgeons from London and Oxford announced the “massive success” of the first procedure in the UK,

with a woman of 40 who has completed her family donating her womb to her 34-year-old sister.

Both donor and recipient are “over the moon,” surgeons report.

The procedure in Oxford, which took place in February, with details now disclosed in the British Journal of Obstetrics and

Gynaecology, comes some seven years after the first successful womb transplant took place in Sweden.

Since then, transplants have been carried out in over 10 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Sweden, the US, China,

Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany, Serbia and India.

And around 50 babies have been born worldwide as a result of womb transplants, which can help women born without a

functioning womb and those who lose the organ to cancer or other conditions.

Estimates suggest there are 15,000 women in the UK of childbearing age who do not have a functioning womb.

Last week a leading transplant surgeon from the University of Alabama said “it is certainly medically possible” to perform

the procedure in trans women who were assigned male at birth but have had sex change surgery, describing the future as

“wide open”.

Dr Paige Porrett told MailOnline: “I think there’s a lot of providers, such as myself, who would envision that is the case,”

before explaining that a lot of additional work was needed to be able to do so safely.
‘Equal treatment’ for trans women

Surgeons in the UK now suggest that if that does happen, it is likely to be at least a decade away.

Lead surgeon Professor Richard Smith, a consultant gynaecological surgeon at Imperial College London, said there was

not currently “technical feasibility”.

He said the pelvic anatomy, vascular anatomy and shape of the pelvis are different, and there are issues to overcome with

the microbiome – the network of micro-organisms that live in the human body.

“We’re very aware that the 2010 Gender Equality Act mandates equal treatment for cisgender and transgender women,” he

said.

“But that assumes technical feasibility. And in this case, currently, there is not technical feasibility.

He went on: “My own sense is if there are transgender transplants that are going to take place, they are many years off.

There are an awful lot of steps to go through.

“My suspicion is a minimum of 10 to 20 years.”
‘There is the risk that we will rush’

Professor Mats Brannstrom, the chief physician at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who made history in 2014

after he delivered the world’s first uterus transplant baby, said he gets many enquiries from transgender women.

“I get emails from people all over the world,” Professor Mats Brannstrom told Euronews Next in February this year.

“But there is the risk that we will rush into this because we have patients who are very interested.

“I say to them – we haven’t done enough research, but I think it will be possible in the future. It may take five or 10 years,

I would say.”

“If it’s an efficient method with no risk, I don’t think there are any ethical boundaries,” he added.

“We change the legal statutes, we do corrective surgery for other things in the body. So this is part of it.”

For now, British surgeons are focused on the more immediate future, with a second transplant scheduled for this autumn.

To date, Womb Transplant UK has approval for 10 operations involving brain-dead donors plus five using a living donor,

most likely a womb from a sister or mother. It currently has enough funds for four of these operations.

It currently has enough funds for four of these operations, with estimates suggesting that around 20 to 30 transplants may

be carried out annually in time.

More than 500 women have contacted the charity over the years. Around 50 are currently going through checks, with a

smaller number at an advanced stage.
‘We couldn’t have a better result’

On Wednesday, they are celebrating success for one family – and hopes of a new generation.

Prof Smith said: “The operation surgically has been incredibly successful.

“The donor and the recipient are two absolutely lovely women. We couldn’t have a better result.

“People say we must feel proud, actually we feel relieved.

“I feel emotional about it all. The first consultation with the recipient post-op, we were all almost in tears.”
Miki Yamuri
 
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