Motherhood is a bliss for each and every woman. But, some woman cannot conceive naturally and become a mother. They do not have the uterus by birth or sometimes the uterus gets damaged due to one or the other reason. Uterine transplant procedure is a boon for such a woman.
Uterine transplant procedure
Let us first understand what is the procedure for uterine transplant. It is the procedure in which, a healthy uterus is transplanted into a woman’s body, whose uterus is diseased or if she does not have a uterus. This is a part of fertility treatment for such woman. Usually, the woman is given immune suppressant drugs so that the woman’s body can accept the uterus. The uterus is removed through hysterectomy after one or two successful pregnancies. This is done because the woman need not take immune suppressant drugs for a long time. As these immune suppressant drugs if taken for a long time may damage the immune system of the body. The uterine transplant baby was born in Sweden in October 2014. The child was a baby boy having birth weight 1.8 kg.
First uterine transplant procedure in India
On 18th may last year, Ms. Chalgeri became the first Indian woman to get the uterine transplant. She received the IVF treatment and the embryo was transplanted into her uterus this January. But, due to certain complications, Ms. Chalgeri’s pregnancy failed after two months. Six uterine transplants have been carried out in India so far. Including Ms. Chalgeri.
First baby born in India by uterus transplantation
Ms. Valand from Vadodara had been suffering from Asherman’s syndrome (scarred uterine tissue). Her mother donated her healthy uterus to her daughter on 19th May last year. Ms. valand’s first embryo transplant had failed. She opted for second embryo transplantation. The procedure was successful and a healthy, but a premature baby girl was born on October 18th this year.
The Gynaecologist Dr. Milind Telang was closely monitoring Ms. Valand. He said that Ms. Valand’s blood pressure had started to rise and the fluid in the amniotic sac was decreasing. The baby was due in the first week of November. But, due to the rise in the blood pressure of Ms. Valand and the decrease in amniotic fluid, the doctor’s decision to perform C-section and take the baby. As the baby’s growth in the womb would have been hampered.
The baby is right now placed in an oxygen hood and is fed colostrum through the Nasogastric tube.
During the procedure of uterine transplantation, only the uterus is transplanted and not the nerves attaching to it. Hence, the recipient will not feel any labor pain. So, the C-section is a necessity. In Ms. Valand’s case, the doctor’s have decided to keep the uterus for some time. So that if the premature baby does not survive, then she can opt for another embryo transplant.
The ultimate answer
The doctors are saying that for a woman like Ms. Valand, who are suffering from the damaged uterus or do not have one, there was no answer except surrogacy or adaption. But, with this procedure, another door and way of treatment have opened up for such a woman. The cost of uterine transfer in India is about USD 18000-20000.
Although, a costly procedure, the uterine transfer is a gleam of hope for a lot of childless couples.