Dr. Richard Paulson told the society’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas that there was no anatomical reason why a womb could not be successfully implanted into a transgender woman.
“You could do it tomorrow,” he reportedly said in his address. “There would be additional challenges, but I don’t see any obvious problem that would preclude it,” he added, emphasizing that it was still a very complicated procedure.
While Paulson insisted there was plenty of room for a uterus to be transplanted into the male body, a natural birth would not be possible. An IVF embryo would have to be implanted and a cesarean operation would be necessary to deliver a baby.
It’s also likely that hormones would have to be administered to the patient to replicate the changes that happen during pregnancy, according to Paulson.
“I personally suspect there are going to be trans women who are going to want to have a uterus and will likely get the transplant,” he said of the procedure.
The first successful womb transplant baby was born in 2014 after a 36-year-old woman, who was born without a uterus, received a donated womb from a friend in her 60s. Eight children have now been born worldwide following uterus transplants.
The conference also highlighted the lack of awareness around fertility preservation for transgender patients, noting that very few gender reassignment patients receive fertility preservation treatments prior to transitioning.
A recent survey of 20 transgender men found that none of them had undergone egg retrieval and freezing for fertility preservation.
“It is important that transgender patients know that fertility preservation is an option for them. This research seems to indicate that we need to do a better job in educating the wider public and fellow physicians on the wider availability and clinical application of fertility preservation treatments,” said Christos Coutifaris, president-elect of the ASRM.