Womb Transplant

World’s first successful womb transplant recipient ready to become a mother

In August 2011, 22 year-old Derya Sert underwent the world’s first successful womb transplant performed by Dr. Ozkan (affiliated with Akdeniz University in Turkey). The most significant and common risks of a transplant include rejection of the womb and possible side effects from the anti-rejection medications. But in Sert’s case it has now been over a year since the transplant procedure – the longest amount of time any woman has gone without rejecting a transplanted womb.

In fact, Sert’s recovery has gone so well that her medical team believes the first “donor womb” pregnancy may now be possible. Sert is now set to undergo fertility treatments, specifically in vitro fertilization (IVF), in the next few months in an attempt to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother. The procedure will involve using Sert’s own eggs and the sperm of her husband. The resulting embryos will be transferred to Sert’s transplanted uterus and, if all goes well, in 9 months she will give birth to a healthy baby. Says Sert: “If I had a magic wand, I would want to be pregnant now. I just want to hold my baby in my arms, to be a mother.”

If Sert has a successful pregnancy and gives birth to a healthy baby, it is likely more women will undergo the transplant procedure at Dr. Ozkan’s clinic. Female cancer survivors who have lost their wombs to the disease and have been cancer-free for at least 5 years, would be candidates for a uterus transplant.

However, even if the transplant is a success, a subsequent pregnancy is not without risks. Some experts feel that a pregnancy could cause potentially fatal complications for women like Sert who have transplanted wombs. Babies born to mothers with a transplanted womb also need to be delivered by C-section, which is potentially risky for both the mother and baby.

Read more about this story here.

Read an update about Derya Sert here.

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