Dr. Narendra Kaushik, a surgeon in New Delhi, India, who runs the Olmec Transgender Surgery Institute, announced that he has plans to transplant a donated uterus into a transgender woman, with the goal of allowing her to become pregnant via IVF and give birth to a child, reports The Mirror.
A uterine transplant in a trans woman has been attempted in the past. In 1931, Lili Elbe, a painter and trans woman (and subject of the film The Danish Girl), underwent the surgery. However, she passed away three months later due to a heart attack caused by an infection she acquired during the procedure.
Uterus transplants have been successful in cis women since then. In 2014, a cis woman gave birth to the first child born of a womb transplant, and another child was born in 2018 to a cis woman who had been born without a uterus due to Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, after having received a transplant from a deceased donor.
These scientific achievements led Dr. Kaushik to believe that the same surgery will benefit trans women who wish to carry their own children. “Every transgender woman wants to be as female as possible,” Dr. Kaushik told The Mirror. “And that includes being a mother. The way towards this is with a uterine transplant, the same as a kidney or any other transplant.”
According to The Mirror, the transplanted uterus could either come from a deceased donor or a live trans man, although the former is likely a better option as it avoids risk factors for the living donor.
As for when this surgery will take place, Dr. Kaushik didn’t offer specifics, although he said the wait shouldn’t be long. “This is the future. We cannot predict exactly when this will happen but it will happen very soon.
“We have our plans and we are very very optimistic about this,” he concluded.