Medical Researchers Making Progress On Uterus Transplants

Uterus transplants have been thus far unsuccessful because the transplanted uteri do not maintain a blood supply strong enough to keep a fetus alive. But now British medical researchers may have solved that problem. The Guardian reports:

They have worked out how to transplant a womb with a good blood supply which could mean it lasts long enough to carry a pregnancy to term.[...]

Their most recent study involved five donor rabbits and five recipients, which were operated on at the Royal Veterinary College in London.

Five rabbits received a womb using a "vascular patch technique" which connected major blood vessels, including the aorta.

Of the five, two rabbits lived to 10 months and examinations after death showed the transplants were a success.

Link via Discover | Image: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Although interesting, I think they should stop wasting money on various fertility treatments and instead focus on the importance of adoption of children that already exist. There are too many children locally, nationally, and globally, who need loving homes and stability. I think wasting resources on fertility treatments is unfair to these children.
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While infertility must, I'm sure, be devastating, we do seem to be getting the response out of proportion. I wouldn't go so far as to say the resources are "wasted", but from where I'm standing any reasonable cost-benefit analysis would suggest better ways of spending limited resources.

In countries where you pay for your own medicine, then of course, it's up to you. The rest of the world however has socialised medicine and to expect it within such a system doesn't seem right. Of course, you can always step outside State provided medicine and go private - something that the anti public-healthcare lobby in the States seems to ignore at every turn.
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It seems a bit silly to me to have a uterus transplant. Transplants are costly and risky. For vital organs and organs that dramatically increase a person's quality of life they make sense. My husband has transplanted bones in his ears. Without them, he'd be deaf. My former step-father has a transplanted kidney, without it he would be dead by now.

However, there's a lot of other alternatives to a transplanted uterus. First of all, there's adoption. But if you're totally set on having children that are your biological children, there's surrogate parent-hood. I can't imagine investing the money and risking my health and putting the financial and emotional strain of major surgery on my family to have a uterus transplanted just so that I could incubate my own fetus myself.
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I think my perspective on this may be a bit different because I'm a young woman (almost 30) suffering from infertility due to PCOS which lead to endometrial cancer. I've been trying to have a child for five years and will likely have to have a hysterectomy in the near future.

For folks with infertility problems hearing 'Why don't you just adopt?' is a big slap in the face. I'd adopt a baby (or even an older child) today if I could but adoption is a very lengthy, emotionally difficult and expensive process. And while I think adoption is a wonderful choice, one we plan to try even if we do manage to have a child, it's undeniable that most folks have a hardwired drive to have their own genetic child and experience pregnancy. I hardly think that's selfish or unreasonable.

I think people often don't think of all the ramifications of infertility, especially the removal of your uterus and ovaries. Besides dealing with the medical, financial and emotional issues that come with infertility, you often have to deal with the underlying medical condition causing the infertility and all the hassle of being refused treatment for a medical condition not covered by insurance. If you lose your uterus and ovaries or they cease to function it isn't just a matter of fertility, your reproductive organs do more than make babies. Without my ovaries I'll cease to produce vital hormones which will cause me to go into an extreme form of menopause at the age of 29. This causes all sorts of serious health risks including bone loss, increased risk of heart disease and increased risk of various cancers, etc.

So please, before you criticize such a procedure, ask yourself if you can really understand infertility if you've never experienced it and how you would feel physically and psychologically if you lost your reproductive organs. Ask yourself if perhaps there are broader medical reasons for having the procedure than simply wanting to have a child.

For what it's worth, I probably wouldn't have this procedure done myself. It would likely not be covered by insurance (which is just horrible), it would likely be as expensive and risky as adoption. That said, just because I wouldn't do it doesn't mean I think it should be denied to other women.
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I wasn't suggesting denying it to women, just that when resources are short there are likely other ways to spend limited funds which would have a greater cost/benefit. If people want to pay for it themselves, that's their own affair.
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I worked with a woman who constantly tried to have children, and every single time she tried, lost the baby within the first few months. Is it sensible to try over and over again?

I have nothing against this type of research; often it opens up doors to other research, like something that might help someone like BlessedBlogger.

But if you're doing it just to get pregnant and have that extra special bonding moment, that's just a waste.
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I would think that rabbits are the last animal to help with fertility treatment. Haven't they heard that they breed like ummm rabbits?

Seriously, this type of treatment is one reason society pays so much for healthcare. We need more GPs and fewer specialists, and we should pay the GPs better. It is very sad when a couple is infertile, but it is sadder when people die from preventable diseases.
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How far have you gone with the research. How much is it going to cost. l want to have a baby too. l'm in kenya so please get in touch with me as soon as things have worked out. And after tranplant how long does it take for one to get pregnant.

Thanks for your research as adopted kids can't be like your own bllod and stigma that accompanys us as our society will always whisper to the kids that you were adopted.
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I am a 25 yr old woman who had to have a hysto due to a doctor misdiagnosing endometriosis on my cervex. So please dont tell me we need more GP if I had went to one of those I probably would have been told it was cancer or some bull shit. The doctors in this country make enough mistakes on a daily baisis do we really need the goverment in there too? and before anyone says anything yes I pay for my own medical care, and I would gladly pay to get a new uterus if for no other reason than to feel like a whole woman again and at least be able to offer my husband his own child since I have two of my own.
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I dont think anyone of you can comment that people are wasting their time on research or anything like that unless you are infertile yourself you would have no idea what it is like to be told that you cannot carry your own child. I have had a baby via Gestational surrogacy but if given the chance I would opt for a uterus transplant, it would be amazing to be able to experience a pregnancy and child birth. There are so many people out there that are desperate to have a baby, and who are any of you to take that away from them. It might not be life threatening not to be able to carry your baby but it doesnt mean that its not one of the hardest things you will ever go through in your life. People get cosmetic surgery everyday, this too had to be researched and I dont hear anyone complaining about that!
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I want to have a baby for my husband we have adotp two children but we are have too problem with the girl so we to have our own baby by gods name.That why I uterus transplant
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I agree with blessedblogger! I have 3 beautiful children and my husband and I wanted more. Due to an a horrible infection after my csection I had an emergency hysterectomy at 25. I have been sent into menopause and it is horrible. Never in my life did I expect to experience menopause at 25. My husband and I struggle daily with this. If we had the choice of having a uterine transplant I would gladly try just to experience carrying another child. It is the most wonderful experience in the world!!!!
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I think you all might feel very different if you were in another persons position I am a 21 year old who had a hysterectomy at the age of 19 after the birth of my 1st child it's easy to say "just go adopt" to someone when you know you yourself can have all of the biological children YOU want.If there is hope out there for the many women like me what a tragedy it would be to stop the research because ignorant people say "it's selfish,a waste, and these women should just concentrate on cleaning up other peoples messes" If you could all put yourselves in the situation so many of us women are in you may find yourself counting down the days until uterine transplants are available too. To the many doctors at work please keep fighting-for me and all of the others like me
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