First US uterus transplant recipient optimistic

  • 08/03/2016

A 26-year-old woman who received the first transplanted uterus in the United States says she is looking forward to getting pregnant next year.

"I was told at 16 I would never have children. From that moment on I prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to experience pregnancy," said Lindsey, who did not give her last name to protect the privacy of her three adopted sons.

Lindsey, who was born without a uterus and received a womb from a deceased donor in her 30s, read a brief statement to reporters at a news conference. She was in a wheelchair and is still staying at the hospital for monitoring.

The transplant, done in a nine-hour surgery on February 24, was the first of 10 uterine transplants planned as part of a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic, which has screened 250 potential recipients.

The surgeons conducting the trial said they worked closely with doctors in Sweden, where five babies have been born since 2014 to mothers with transplanted wombs.

Lindsey must wait a year to get pregnant, until she is on a lower dose of anti-rejection drugs, the doctors said. After one or two babies, the uterus will be removed so that she does not have to spend her life on anti-rejection drugs, the doctors said.

Embryos from her eggs and her husband's sperm will be implanted in her uterus. She cannot conceive through intercourse because the uterine transplant does not include the fallopian tubes.

The baby would be delivered by caesarean section as close as possible to its due date, the doctors said.

The women who will participate in the trial include some born without a uterus - which happens to one in 5000 women - and others who had a hysterectomy due to cancer or other problems.