Politics

Doctors Claim Men Will Soon Get Uterus Transplants and Have Babies?

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If you’re a man, you’re in luck, according to one of the world’s leading fertility professors — you could get pregnant as soon as “tomorrow.”

An expert in reproductive medicine has claimed that the technology is available for men to get pregnant thanks to advances in womb transplant capabilities.

The science is now available to allow women who began life as men to receive donated wombs and attempt to begin pregnancy as early as “tomorrow”, according to Dr Richard Paulson, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Paulson replied: “You are talking about trans women. Someone who started out as a man, who became a woman.

“There would be additional challenges, but I don’t see any obvious problem that would preclude it. I think it would be possible.

Asked if someone born male could have a uterus transplant, Paulson said: “They could do it tomorrow,” before adding that it was “still a very complicated procedure”.

However, he also explained that while there was room in the male body to hold a womb and carry a baby, they would not be able to pass the baby through the male pelvis so the birth would have to be via caesarean section.

The male may also require hormone treatment according to Paulson.

At present, only women are allowed to receive womb transplants, thanks to an international agreement called the Montreal Criteria.

The first operation that resulted in a live birth took place in Sweden in 2014.

What are some of the challenges that come along with the operation?

Paulson said some of the complications of a male womb transplant would be:

  • Men have less room in their pelvic area, although there is enough room
  • Giving birth would be complicated because a male does not have a vaginal opening. Therefore, a caesarian delivery would be necessary
  • Men don’t have the proper hormones needed for pregnancy, so they would have to undergo hormone therapy
  • A uterus would also have to be procured, either through a living donor or a brain-dead donor
  • Then an embryo would need to be implanted into the uterus through a process known as in vitro fertilization

Aside from the obvious physical barriers, there are big ethical questions surrounding the operation, the Independent noted, because placing a living unborn child in a male’s body would pose a “significant” risk to the baby.

At least five womb transplants in Sweden have resulted in successful births. Those operations happened only in women.

Others have dashed Paulson’s hopes.

They point out that uterus transplants aren’t even common for women, and definitely are not about to become possible for men.

The transplants are “still highly experimental”, according to Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics and head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University’s School of Medicine. In fact, they are currently only performed in experimental trials.

Caplan also called the idea irresponsible. “Surgically, could you put [a uterus] in a man tomorrow? Yeah, but it would be completely irresponsible,” he said in an interview with LiveScience.

Dr. Saima Aftab, medical director of the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, agreed with Caplan. “Even for women, there’s still a reason for caution,” Aftab said. “[We’re] still far away from understanding enough to be able to do this safely in men.”

Aftab explained that there are a number of potential complications with uterus transplants. The uterus has to be properly connected to the body’s veins and arteries — if done incorrectly, the organ will begin to die. And anyone who undergoes an organ transplant has to take medication to ensure that their body doesn’t reject the organ.

So far, only one person has had a uterus transplant in the United States. But it failed after the uterus became infected and had to be removed. In Sweden, nine uterus transplants have been performed, with five women able to successfully get pregnant and have children.

But for men, the risks would be even greater than for women. This is because the “body’s anatomy is not naturally designed for there to be space and blood supply for the womb,” according to Aftab. Men also do not produce the hormones needed to sustain a pregnancy, adding more complications to the issue.

All I can say is insanity.

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