A member of the team that would perform uterine transplant procedure at the Cleveland Clinic did not rule out the possibility that the procedure could be performed on a male. If that happens, male pregnancy becomes possible.

According to Dr Rebecca Flyckt, an obstetrician-gynaecologist and expert in reproductive endocrinology, theoretically, it is possible. She was responding to a query from a letter-writer to The New York Times which published an article about the procedure.

However, Flyckt points out, “It would be a huge surgical and endocrinologic undertaking and involve not just the creation of a vagina but also surgical reconstruction of the whole pelvis by someone skilled in transgender surgery.” Once that procedure is done, the next step is grafting of a donor uterus then the patient must undergo a complex hormone regimen therapy to support a pregnancy before and after embryo transplant. It is similar to hormone regimens given to menopausal women who want to get pregnant.

Even if the uterus is from another person, it is still possible that the baby would be the biological child of the male who received the organ donation by freezing his sperm before the transgender surgery. But Flyckt adds that while she anticipated that interest in the procedure from the trans community, she emphasises, “Our protocol is limited at this time to women without a functioning uterus.”

While nine women in Sweden had successfully undergone the procedure, of which five became pregnant and four has so far given birth, the Cleveland Clinic study would use organs from deceased donors. The reason behind that is to avoid risks to the living donor or a uterine removal surgery which exposes her to injuries with the removal of blood vessels that surround her uterus, explains The New York Times.

To remove a uterus from a live donor, the procedure would take between seven to 11 hours, while the procedure would be faster if the organ comes from a deceased donor.

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