The Cleveland Clinic Has Conducted The U.S.'s First Uterus Transplant

Photographed by Nicolas Bloise.
Update: Wednesday, February 24 saw the Cleveland Clinic conducting the U.S.'s first uterus transplant. The surgery took nine hours and the anonymous patient has been reported to be in stable condition as of this afternoon.

This article was originally published on November 13, 2015.
Millions of women struggle with fertility issues, but now some will have access to one very creative solution: Uterus transplants could soon open the door for many people in the U.S. who, for a variety of reasons, haven't been able to conceive, reports The New York Times.

Last year, doctors at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden announced the first successful pregnancy as a result of a uterus transplant. The transplant procedure actually took place back in 2013, when the recipient (who had been born without a uterus) was 35. After a year of healing, she received in vitro fertilization. Then, in September of 2014, she gave birth to a son via C-section.

Three other women have since become pregnant through the procedure, which was performed by the same team in Sweden. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the process is that these transplants are temporary. After one or two births, the uterus is removed so that the recipient can stop taking the drugs that are needed to help prevent her body from rejecting the transplant.

Now, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are preparing to perform the first uterus transplantation in the United States. At this point, there are eight women going through the screening process to receive a transplant in the next few months.

To be eligible, candidates must have been born without a uterus, had their uterus damaged, or had it removed. They must be in a stable, long-term relationship and must have their ovaries intact. The women are also screened for any psychological issues or relationship tension that could make the already-difficult recovery process even more of a struggle.

While a uterus transplant certainly won't solve every fertility issue we may have, making the procedure more widely available could help many women who haven't had other options. And, it's pretty darn cool.

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