Transgender women could soon be able to get pregnant and carry a baby thanks to developments in womb transplantation, a leading fertility expert has claimed.
According to Dr Richard Paulson, the outgoing president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the success of womb transplants, means it is possible that similar operations could be carried out on transgender women.
Dr Paulson went on to say that trans medicine had now become “mainstream” and that people who had undergone gender reassignment surgery would inevitably want to take advantage in the medical advances.
Speaking at the society’s annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Dr Paulson explained that there was no scientific reason why a womb could not be successfully implanted into a transgender woman.
“You could do it tomorrow,” he said. “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.”
Dr Paulson added that even though men and women have a different shaped pelvis, he believed there would still be room for an implanted womb.
But the procedure wouldn’t be without complication. Due to the different shape of the male pelvis, transgender women would likely have to give birth via caesarean section. And hormones might also have to be given to replicate the changes that take place while a woman is pregnant.
Despite the advances, womb transplant is still very much an experimental procedure. Since 2014 at least five babies have been born to women who had received wombs in Sweden, while the first British attempt is due to be carried out next year.
But some experts are warning that initiating a pregnancy in a transgender woman may be unethical as it could pose “significant” risk to the foetus.
Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University claims that even though a there may be a “psychological benefit” to a transgender woman carrying her own baby, this had to be “weighed against any psychological harm to the child being born in this atypical way.”
The news coincides with the government asking the UN to remove the term ‘pregnant women’ from an important part of the International Bill of Human Rights to be more inclusive of transgender people.
A statement given to the UN is asking for any mention of pregnancy in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to remove the word ‘woman’.
It states that the current ‘pregnant woman’ term could “exclude transgender people who have given birth”, suggesting the UN use the term ‘pregnant people’ instead.
There have only ever been two examples of transgender people who consider themselves to be men giving birth in the UK.
23-year-old Scott Parker was the first to give birth in April this year after living as a man for two years. He put his transition on hold after accidentally falling pregnant following a one-night stand.
21-year-old Hayden Cross was the next transgender man to have a child in June, three years after legally being declared as male.
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