U.S. uterus transplants could help infertile women get pregnant

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A team in Ohio is spearheading an experimental surgery, the first of its kind in the U.S., that may prove to be significant for infertile women wishing to carry a baby to full term.

The New York Times reports that the Cleveland Clinic is starting trials for a uterine transplant procedure that could help some 50,000 women born without a uterus or with uterus problems, get pregnant.

The team began screening candidates in September. Ten women, aged 21-39, will undergo the procedure following extensive medical and psychological evaluation. Once a patient is approved for the procedure, she is given hormones to stimulate egg production. Multiple eggs are fertilized in vitro and the embryos are frozen.

When a suitable donor is found, the uterus, cervix, and part of the vagina is removed and must be transplanted into the pelvis within six to eight hours. The uterus is connected to the recipient’s vagina, and the uterine vessels, normally wound around the ureters, are redirected to the larger blood vessels around the pelvis.

A year later, embryos are implanted one at a time into the fully-healed uterus until the patient becomes pregnant. After giving birth to one or two babies via C-section, the transplanted uterus will be removed to prevent patients from having to continuously take anti-rejection drugs, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

In Sweden, nine uterine transplants from live donors resulted in five pregnancies and four live births. In the U.S., deceased organ donors will be used to minimize complications.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Baby born without a uterus
2. In vitro fertilization
3. Uterus transplant
4. Embryo transfer after a year
5. Uterus removed
6. Procedure in Sweden, U.S.

VOICEOVER (in English):
“The Cleveland Clinic has announced trials for uterus transplants that will help some 50,000 women born without a uterus or who have uterus problems, get pregnant.”

“Once a patient is approved for the procedure, she is given hormones to stimulate egg production. The egg is then fertilized in vitro and frozen.”

“A donor’s uterus and part of her vagina is then implanted into the recipient within six to eight hours.”

“A year later, embryos are inserted one at a time into the fully-healed uterus until the patient becomes pregnant.”

“After giving birth to one or two babies via C-section, the transplanted uterus will be removed to keep the patient from having to continuously take anti-rejection drugs.”

“In Sweden, uterine transplants from live donors resulted in four live births. The U.S. team will be using organs from deceased donors to minimize complications.”


SOURCES:
New York Times, Cleveland Clinic, New York Magazine, NBC Bay Area, U.S. News
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/13/health/uterus-transplants-may-soon-help-some-infertile-women-in-the-us-become-pregnant.html?_r=0
http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/11/cleveland-clinic-is-first-u-s-to-offer-clinical-trial-of-uterus-transplant/
http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/11/uterus-transplants-could-help-infertile-women.html#
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/US-to-Spearhead-Uterus-Transplant-Special-Report-347199352.html
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/12/cleveland-clinic-to-offer-clinical-trial-of-uterus-transplant