One of the world's prominent experts has said the world should prepare itself for the future arrival of the first babies born to transgender mothers.
According to Dr Richard Paulson, president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the science behind such progress is now available to allow transgender women to acquire donated wombs and try to begin pregnancy as early as “tomorrow.”
According to The Telegraph
, Dr Paulson said trans medicine had now become “mainstream” and that people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery would want to take advantage.
However many British experts think that beginning a pregnancy in a transgender woman may be “unethical as it would safer for the child to be born via a surrogate mother.”
They also said that if womb transplantation for natural women becomes freely available on the NHS, “hospitals may also have to offer it to transgender women due to equalities legislation.”
Only a few women have gone through the process of transplanting a womb so far. It is a complicated and lengthy procedure.
However, expertise is being developed at increasing numbers of centres, reports The Telegraph.
Dr Paulson said there was no anatomical reason why “a womb could not successfully be implanted into a transgender woman.”
He said: “You could do it tomorrow. There would be additional challenges, but I don’t see any obvious problem that would preclude it.
"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 added: “While men and women have a different shaped pelvis.. there would nevertheless be room for an implanted womb. However, the shape of the male womb means transgender women would have to give birth via cesarean section.”
At least five babies have been born so far to women who had received wombs in a series of operations in Sweden since 2014.
The Telegraph also reports that other womb transplant programmes are being initiated in Europe, and in the UK, doctors have been given permission by the regulator to begin their own charity-funded programme.
Since a womb is located beside a number of major blood vessels, the transplantation becomes partly complicated.
Besides, recipients have to go through long-term immunosuppressive treatment “to prevent the womb from being rejected.”
A Philosopher and bioethical specialist at Oxford University, Professor Julian Savulescu, said: “Uterine transplantation represents a real risk to the fetus, and future child. We ought avoid exposing fetuses and future children to unnecessary significant risks.”
He also said: “Although technically possible to perform the procedure, you would also need to be very confident the uterus would function normally during pregnancy.
“Uterine rupture could cause the death or permanent disablement of the fetus,”
A British man, Hayden Cross, has reportedly made history by becoming “the first to give birth” in July.
Cross gave birth to a girl after he had put a full sex change on hold.