A novel solution to irreversible infertility?
A Cleveland Clinic research trial was the first in the U.S. to offer uterus transplant to women suffering from uterine factor infertility (UFI). These women cannot carry a pregnancy. They were born without a uterus or no longer have their uterus.
Discover the facts below.
A UNIQUE FORM OF TRANSPLANT
The need for uterus transplant is compelling.
1 in 5,000 women are born with UFI.
Gestational carriers (surrogates) are the only way for affected women to have a biological child.
In the U.S., the surrogacy process can be legally complicated. In many other countries, surrogacy is highly restricted or even banned.
The transplant is not meant to be lifelong.
Uterus transplant is life-enhancing and not lifesaving.
The transplanted uterus is then either removed or allowed to disintegrate.
1-2 live births.
Research paved the way.
Two international attempts at uterine transplant in the early 2000s were unsuccessful. Organ rejection was a major factor.
By July 2019, more than a dozen babies have been born worldwide as a result of a transplanted uterus.
After years of uterus transplant research in which Cleveland Clinic took part, a Swedish team was able to manage mild rejection during pregnancy.
A multi-step path to parenthood
UFI is an irreversible form of female infertility with limited
Uterus transplant seems to show potential for treating UFI.
But it is still considered highly experimental.
Cleveland Clinic is building on a history of transplant and
reproductive surgery innovations by exploring uterus
transplant’s feasibility for women.
To date, the team has completed 5 uterus transplants: 3 were successful, 1 resulting in a live birth. Two women are awaiting embryo transfers. The remaining 2 transplants ended with hysterectomies.
Candidates start the screening process.
Cleveland Clinic’s transplant study
will include 10 women.
All candidates must be 21-39 years
old and have UFI.
The transplant team must
unanimously approve each
Candidates must have UFI or
Teams of doctors, surgeons,
psychiatrists, social workers
and bioethicists evaluate each
Candidates must understand the study's risks and limitations as well as other options.
Evaluations are in-depth.
After selection for the study, the
woman’s ovaries are stimulated
to produce multiple eggs.
Her eggs are retrieved and
fertilized with sperm in the
6 embryos are selected
In vitro fertilization (IVF) begins.
The organ procurement agency
searches for a donor.
The donor’s uterus must be healthy.
The next-of kin must sign an
A search for deceased
The woman starts anti-rejection
drugs to prepare for transplant.
The donor’s uterus and blood
supply is removed.
The uterus is transplanted into
the woman’s pelvis. The donor’s
blood vessels are connected
Transplant takes place within
A few months after transplant,
the recipient starts having periods.
6 months after transplant,
the uterus fully heals.
Embryos are thawed and
implanted one at a time.
The goal is 1-2 live births.
Once the uterus heals, the embryos are transferred.
A high-risk obstetrics team
monitors the woman throughout
pregnancy and delivery.
Anti-rejection drugs are taken
There are monthly cervical biopsies to check for organ rejection.
Each pregnancy is closely monitored.
The baby is delivered via C-section.
After 1-2 live births, a hysterectomy
is performed to remove the
After hysterectomy, the
anti-rejection drugs are stopped
to reduce long-term exposure to
Motherhood at last.
2019 Cleveland Clinic