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It would require a grueling series of operations, but transgender women now see hope that they could one day become pregnant — despite having been born biological males — thanks to pioneering uterus transplant surgery.

“I hope it becomes a reality,” said Chastity Bowick, 30, a medical case manager in Worcester, Mass. “I absolutely would be willing to do it.”


Bowick began her gender transition at 19, but she knew she wanted to be a mom long before that. “Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of parenting, I wanted to be a mother,” she said. “I didn’t know how that would ever happen, but that’s what I wanted.”

Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday introduced the recipient of the nation’s first uterus transplant, performed late last month. The 26-year-old patient, identified only as Lindsey, said she has adopted three boys through foster care but has always dreamed of the opportunity to carry a child. The Cleveland Clinic team plans to do at least nine more transplants as part of a clinical trial.

It is theoretically possible to transplant a uterus into someone who was born male. But the body would need a lot of preparation.


Gender reassignment surgery would be much more involved, for one thing. As with traditional male-to-female surgery, doctors would have to create a vaginal canal. But they would also need to make space for the uterus. That would require widening the pelvic inlet, which is substantially narrower in men.

After all that, the patient would need about a year to heal before undergoing the womb transplant — which in itself is quite an ordeal. The first one performed in the United States took nine hours.

If the transgender woman had stored sperm before transitioning, she could use it to fertilize a donor egg for implantation, so her baby would be genetically related to her. Careful administration of hormones would help the patient sustain her pregnancy, which would require close monitoring.

Any patient with a uterus transplant would also have to take powerful drugs to prevent her body from rejecting the donor organ. (For that reason, the transplants are designed to be temporary; surgeons plan to remove the donated womb after the recipient has carried a pregnancy or two to term.)

The many steps would make an already tough process even more difficult and expensive for transgender women

Bowick is undeterred.

“Being a trans woman is already complicated,” she said.

“And pregnancy would be a beautiful thing — even the morning sickness. I mean, I’m kind of getting that now anyway, from the hormones. And I’m moody,” she laughed. “After all I’ve gone through, I’m up for any challenge.”

That commitment doesn’t surprise psychologist Deborah Simmons, who works with couples on surrogacy and fertility issues from her practice in Minnetonka, Minn.

“If you’re a trans woman, this is a way of completing the dream,” she said. “Looking like a woman, feeling like a woman, and being able to bear a child like a woman. The whole notion of being like anyone else who wants to carry a baby — the opportunity for that is blowing people’s minds, in a good way.”

Bowick said she doesn’t expect bearing a child will make her feel like a more complete woman. “There are biological women who cannot bear children and they’re not lesser women because of it,” she said. She’d already been planning to adopt children and still plans to do so, even if she’s able to bear her own children as well.

Angelica Ross, the chief executive of TransTech Social Enterprises in Chicago, said transgender women may have trouble taking advantage of uterine transplants because many have faced discrimination in the past and, thus, lack the financial resources to pay for multiple surgeries.

“Because of getting fired from job after job, most trans people, especially trans people of color, are barely able to take care of themselves, much less a child,” she said.

Still, Ross said “it’s just an exciting idea” that it’s even theoretically possible now to become pregnant after transitioning to female.

“I love living in an America,” she said, “where someone like me would have a chance to have children.”

  • Wow, just wow. What is this world that GOD created coming to? Not happy with the way you were born? Had some problems in your life while growing up? Now men want a uterus and women want a penis. Wow😔

  • Tell it Crissy!

    it gives ” if you can’t beat them join them” a meaning I never imagined
    Even if we always knew there would be backlash and co-optation as women struggle to gain rights and value in the culture.

    Will future women’s Olympic teams be made up of men while again women are pushed out?

    yeah well that’s a rhetorical question

  • First, where are the donor uteruses coming from? Women are the most oppressed on this planet by the hands of men. Even certain religions make us invisible! Now men wanting to be women “transgender women” want to take our place. But I, as a real natural woman, am sick and tired of these man made abominations and this is definitely one, being a crime against nature. These doctors are stealing and killing us women for our wombs so they can play god trying to make men, women.

    • the uteruses could be coming from transgender men, men that were born female but transitioned to male, after they have their uterus removed. since their uterus is otherwise healthy (besides short term effects from testosterone), it could be donated to a transgender woman or even a woman who had to have a hysterectomy. they could also come from women and non-binary people like me who don’t see a need for their uteruses and instead of just having the doctors throw the organ away, we decide that we want to donate it to someone who needs it and wants it more than we do. also, nobody is killing women for their organs. that’s illegal. transgender women aren’t taking women’s place in the world. they face as much, sometimes even more, oppression then cisgender women do but thats not to invalidate the oppression that women go through around the world. the only abomination the comes with transgender people is the TERFs and transphobic people like you who have absolutely no reason to hate on people simply because they’re trying to live their best lives.

    • I totally agree with you, I’m tired of this New World Order Take Over. Destroy man, and replace woman.. with TransMan. Your right about how the doctors are stealing woman’s womb right in her face because of Fibroids when there is no need to. This is how they are collecting uterus for their sick agenda.

    • Tell it Crissy!

      it gives ” if you can’t beat them join them” a meaning I never imagined
      Even if we always knew there would be backlash and co-optation as women struggle to gain rights and value in the culture.

      Will future women’s Olympic teams be made up of men while again women are pushed out?

      yeah well that’s a rhetorical question

    • Look I get where you are coming from I am a natural born woman to not transgender but who says they are replacing us when legally and mentally and with this transplant physically a woman who wants a child of her own

    • I actually happen to be a cis woman dating a trans woman and your attitude towards them is disgusting. There have been scientific studies to show that a trans woman’s brain will act exactly the same as a cisgender woman so they are just women born into the wrong body. You think your oppressed try being a trans woman and a lesbian at the same time you have it easy compared to people form the LGBTQ+ community who only have just got their rights within the last few years and some religions would have them killed.

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