Context- Recently in the U.K., conducted the country’s first uterus transplant.
About the Uterus Transplant
- Unlike heart or liver transplants, uterus transplants aren’t life-saving transplants.
- Instead, they are more like limb or skin transplants – which improve the quality of individuals’
- Uterus transplants can help women who lack a uterus fulfil their reproductive needs.
The Procedure of Uterus Transplant
- Primary Evaluation: Before transplantation, the recipient is evaluated for good physical and
- Cryopreservation: The procedure doesn’t connect the uterus to the fallopian tubes (which
ensure the ovum from the ovaries moves to the uterus).
- So the individual can’t become pregnant through natural means.
- Instead, doctors remove the recipient’s ova, create embryos using in vitro fertilisation (IVF), and
freeze them embryos (a.k.a. cryopreservation).
- Once the newly transplanted uterus is ‘ready’, the doctors implant the embryos in the uterus.
- Implantation: Once the transplant has been cleared, the uterus is carefully removed from the
- The uterus is harvested together with its blood vessels.
- Surgeons also remove the fallopian tubes (and don’t use them in the graft for the donor to
prevent pregnancies outside the uterus).
- With the recipient, the surgeons link up the muscles, cartilage, tendons, and arteries, veins, and
other blood vessels so that the uterus functions normally.
- After-care: To prevent the recipient’s body from rejecting the transplanted uterus, the recipient
needs to take drugs that suppress the immune system.
Global Position on Uterus Transplant
- India is one of a few countries to have had a successful uterine transplant; others include Turkey,
Sweden, and the U.S.
- India’s first uterine transplant baby was born on October 18, 2018 – 17 months after the
recipient had undergone the procedure.
- The doctors now aim to make the procedure more affordable.
– About: Scientists are now working on creating a bioengineered artificial uterus.
o These experiments are still in their early stages; preliminary results with rats have shown
– Significance: Such an entity could simplify the transplantation process by
eliminating the need for live donors as well as sidestep debates about the ethics
of using such organs.
- When it does, the advantages could extend to women as well as members of the LGBTQ+