Has this been done before?
Yes, a similar trial in Sweden for women with uterine factor infertility resulted in seven womb transplants and five live births. In 2014, a 36-year-old Swedish trial participant became the first woman in the world to give birth to a baby via a donated uterus. The Swedish study took place after more than a decade of lab research that showed promising results for this procedure. The Baylor University Medical Center team will apply the insights of those outcomes to this study, with special input from the researchers involved in the initial effort at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Can a recipient have more than one child with a donated uterus?
After a successful live birth, the recipient may have the option to keep the uterus for a second pregnancy. The physicians will consider the course of the first pregnancy and together with the mother, determine when and how to move forward safely towards a second pregnancy.
Does the donated uterus remain implanted in the recipient after the baby is born?
Uterine transplantation is not designed as a permanent organ donation. Because carrying foreign body tissue can increase infection risk and requires lifelong anti-rejection medication, women in this study will undergo a hysterectomy after one or two successful pregnancies.
What is the process?
Prior to the surgery, recipients will undergo in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which is possible because qualified patients must have healthy and otherwise normal functioning ovaries. In-vitro fertilization uses reproductive technology to retrieve eggs from the ovaries and fertilize in the lab with sperm from the subject’s male partner. After surgery, the women will be monitored and may be eligible for an embryo produced from the earlier IVF procedures to be transferred as early as a year following the womb transplant. If implantation is successful and the recipient becomes pregnant, she will be routinely monitored until her baby is delivered by cesarean section.
Do study participants have to be located in Dallas?
Yes. The entire process of transplantation, fertilization, prenatal care and delivery are all connected as part of this study and will take place at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.