Global results of human uterus transplantation and strategies for pre-transplantation screening of donors

Fertil Steril. 2019 Jul;112(1):3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.05.030.


Absolute uterine factor infertility, due to absence or non-function of the uterus, is one of the few major subgroups of infertility that has remained without any treatment. Uterus transplantation has now been proposed as treatment for this type of infertility. The first attempt of human uterus transplantation was in 2000. This was a live donor case, but due to suboptimal surgical solutions it resulted in a necrotic uterus being removed after 99 days. This first human case, although a failure, inspired several research groups around the globe to initiate animal-based studies to investigate uterus transplantation in relation to surgery, immunosuppression, rejection and pregnancy outcome. The research was carried out in several animal species and advanced the field substantially. In 2011, the second uterus transplantation attempt was performed, and this involved a deceased donor procedure. Although the case was surgically successful, with resumed menstruations, clinical pregnancy with live birth could not be achieved. The first clinical trial of uterus transplantation was initiated in Sweden in 2013 and involved nine live donor procedures. The world's first live birth was reported from that trial in September 2014 and this was followed by two more births within that trial in November 2014. Births after uterus transplantation has since been reported from Sweden and other centers in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia. Thirty human uterus transplantation procedures have been reported in the scientific literature so far but by our personal knowledge the double number of procedures have been performed. The published cases will be reviewed in detail, and we will also describe the pregnancies of the live births that have been published. A small number of graft failures have occurred. These may in part be linked to suboptimal selection of donors, specifically concerning the quality of the uterine arteries. Consequently, we will also address the issue of strategies for pre-surgical screening of donors.

Keywords: Infertility; transplantation; uterus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Donor Selection*
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / surgery*
  • Live Birth
  • Living Donors / supply & distribution
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Risk Factors
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterus / transplantation*
  • Young Adult