That’s the question provoked by last week’s announcement that the Cleveland Clinic is performing uterus transplant surgery on women who were born without a womb or whose uterus is diseased or malfunctioning. Hearing the news, we, and some of you, wondered: If science can transplant a uterus into a woman, can it transplant one into a man?
The answer is yes. Theoretically, men could receive a uterus, carry a baby to term, and give birth. But what really blew our minds is that the day of male pregnancy is closer than you’d think.
“My guess is five, 10 years away, maybe sooner,” says Dr. Karine Chung, director of the fertility preservation program at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Today, medical advances let transgender women adjust their biochemistry to suppress male and introduce female hormones, have breasts that can lactate, and obtain surgically constructed vaginas that include a “neoclitoris,” which allows sensation.
Until now, however, a place to carry the fetus — a womb of its own — was a major missing link. Uterus transplants could conceivably surmount that hurdle.