The 26-year-old woman who received the first uterus transplant in the U.S. in late February is recovering well, according to a March 7 article in the New York Daily News. If all continues to go well, the woman named Lindsey will be able to try conceiving through in vitro fertilization in about a year, according to the article. Lindsey’s last name is not being provided to the media. “They have provided me with a gift that I will never be able to repay,” Lindsey said in the article about the donor family.
The donor was a recently deceased woman in her 30s who had children, according to the article. “This is a research project that gives hope for women who wish to experience pregnancy and children,” Delos Cosgrove, MD, Cleveland Clinic’s president and CEO, told reporters at a March 7 news conference.
Sweden, the first country to attempt uterus transplants, has been using living donors. The Cleveland Clinic has opted to use only deceased donors for its trials.
Dr. Mats Brannstrom of Sahlgrenska University Hospital at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said the Cleveland surgery marked the 13th such procedure worldwide, according to the article. In Sweden, five babies have been successfully delivered by mothers with transplanted wombs. The fourth baby was delivered via cesarean section in 2015 after a woman received her mother’s uterus in a transplant, according to the Associated Press.
When she was 16, Lindsey, who was born without a uterus, said she was told she’d never have biological children. “From that moment on, I’ve prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to experience pregnancy,” she said in the New York Daily News article. “And here we are today, at the beginning of that journey.”
Lindsey and her husband have three adopted boys.
The Cleveland Clinic chose her as the first of 10 women to undergo a clinical trial procedure of transplanting a uterus. They were either born without a uterus, had their uterus removed or have abnormalities that won’t allow them to carry a child.
They have healthy ovaries, which allows them to produce eggs, according to an article written by Ashley Welsh for a March 7 online CBS news story.
Like Lindsey, the clinic’s next transplant patients will take anti-rejection drugs after the surgery and throughout their pregnancy, according to the article. “After one or two pregnancies, doctors intend to remove the transplanted uterus so the patient can stop taking the drugs,” Welsh wrote in the article.
Lindsey will have checkups for a year before trying to conceive.
“We must remember a uterine transplant is not just about a surgery and about moving a uterus from here to there. It’s about having a healthy baby,” Cleveland Clinic surgeon Dr. Rebecca Flyckt said in the article.
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