Risks of a Uterine Transplant
Any woman becoming pregnant via a uterine transplant would be considered high-risk, and therefore would be closely monitored for the duration of her pregnancy. There would also be a considerable number of risks associated with the surgery, including:
- The immunosuppressive drugs administered after the transplant could be toxic for a fetus
- Blood clotting
- Organ rejection
- Pre-term birth
- Low birth weight babies
- High blood pressure
In addition, there is the risk that the transplanted uterus would not be well adapted to pregnancy. It is also unknown what potential risks the surgery could pose to the baby, as rates of birth defects and other complications are not well documented.
For these reasons, medical experts are recommending the procedure be sufficiently tested on other primates before moving to humans.
Although some women have already expressed an interest in having a uterine transplant, there are members of the medical community who are concerned about the ethical implications of performing the surgery.
Indeed, some doctors have expressed the concern that the procedure's considerable risks do not outweigh the benefits. Since infertility is not a life-threatening condition-- unlike heart or liver failure-- they argue that undergoing such an invasive surgery simply does not make sense.
They emphasize that experiencing pregnancy is not the definition of parenthood; raising your children is. Therefore, they feel that women should not be so focused on becoming pregnant, but rather, on becoming a parent in whatever way possible, such as through surrogacy or adoption.
Some, however, disagree, stating that it shouldn't be the job of the medical community to make such a personal decision, and that for some women, becoming pregnant is paramount to the experience of motherhood itself.
To further complicate the issue, some are even saying that if and when the surgery was perfected, it could eventually lead to men being able to become pregnant-- although that procedure is purely conceptual at this point. For now at least, doctors are sticking with primates.