Could surgery allow men to give birth within a decade?
Uterus transplants could allow men to carry babies and give birth, as soon as within the next decade, scientists have estimated.
The question was posed after the Cleveland Clinic announced it would begin performing incredible uterus transplant surgery for women born without wombs, or whose own uterus does not function.
Speaking to Yahoo, Dr Karine Chung, the director of the fertility preservation program at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine estimated that men could carry children to full-term, and give birth.
When? FIVE-TO-TEN YEARS, apparently.
Dr Chung said: “My guess is five, 10 years away, maybe sooner.”
While the uterus transplants are still in research stage for women suffering for uterine factor infertility (UFI), a Swedish team has achieved four live births out of five pregnancies from the uteri transplants.
The uteri came from deceased donors.
One major risk to overcome is the surgery itself, which is risky. Patients are required to take anti-rejection drugs throughout pregnancies, and are as a result at a higher risk of infections.
Scientists have suggested the surgery would be problematic for men as sytems such as pelvic ligament, vasculature, as well as a vagina and a cervix.
“Male and female anatomy is not that different,” says Dr Chung. “Probably at some point, somebody will figure out how to make that work.”
The cost of transplant surgery is also a huge issue to overcome, as the cost for transplants currently can range from tens of thousands to millions of pounds.
The potential benefit to transgender people has also been noted by scientists, as the surgery would in theory allow trans women to carry children.