Uterine transplant for trans woman stirs debate in Europe


European Union

Tineke van der Waal, RD

Photo RD, Jos Ansink

An Indian doctor wants to make it possible for a biological man to give birth to a child. He is preparing a uterine transplant for a trans woman. European sources are in doubt whether this is a good plan.

“Every transgender woman wants to be a woman as much as possible,” Dr Narendra Kaushik told the British tabloid The Daily Mirror. “That also means that you can be a mother. The way to go here is a uterine transplant, similar to a kidney or other organ transplant. This is the future.” Kaushik does not say exactly when the operation will take place but assures that it will happen very soon. “We have our plans, and we are very optimistic about this.”

Suppose the donor uterus, from a living or deceased donor, is transplanted into the abdomen of the biological man. In that case, according to several doctors, it should theoretically be possible for an embryo to be implanted. IVF is then used for fertilization. Natural pregnancy is excluded because the uterus is not connected to fallopian tubes.

For a long time, Thailand was the destination for desired medical interventions. Now, it is India. Dr. Kaushik runs a plastic and cosmetic surgery clinic in New Delhi. He says about 20 per cent of his patients come from abroad.

For Prof. Simon Fishel, it borders on “madness” to even attempt to transplant a uterus into a biological man. The British doctor was involved in the research that led to the birth of the first ‘test tube baby’ in 1978. In the Daily Mirror, he says he finds it “grossly irresponsible” if the Indian doctor’s plan is not tested on animals. To his knowledge, that investigation has not yet been done.

In 2014, a healthy baby was born from a transplanted uterus for the first time in Sweden. It concerned a 36-year-old woman born without a uterus. Uterine transplants in transgender women are experimental. One case of a uterine transplant to a trans woman has been documented, but she died a few months later after complications.

This article was translated by CNE.news and previously published in Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad on May 10th, 2022.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.