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The United States' First Successful Uterus Transplant Happened This Week

On Wednesday, a 26-year-old woman became the first woman in the United States to undergo a successful uterine transplant, NPR reports.

The patient, who wishes to remain anonymous, received the uterus from a deceased organ donor. The transplant procedure, which was done at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, took nine hours to complete and left the recipient in stable condition.

The goal of a uterine transplant, according to The Cleveland Clinic, is to give women who would otherwise be unable the ability to conceive and carry children.

Interestingly, however, the transplanted organ is not expected to last forever. The healing process takes approximately a year, after which the recipient is able to try to conceive using in vitro fertilization.

After the birth of one or two healthy children, according to the Clinic,

the anti-rejection drugs are stopped…the transplanted uterus is either removed or allowed to disintegrate.

Allowing the transplanted uterus to die — or removing it — ensures the mothers do not have to take immune-system-weakening anti-rejection drugs for too long.

Of course, there are currently many ways to have a child if you have difficulties getting pregnant. But uterine transplants, which effectively give the recipient the ability to conceive and carry a child, could change the face of reproductive health forever.

Read more here.

Citations: Cleveland Clinic Performs First Successful Uterus Transplant In The U.S. (NPR), Cleveland Clinic Performs Nation's First Uterus Transplant (Cleveland Clinic)