Jazz in a recent interview expressed the hope and desire to become a mother. If medical events in Turkey continue to be positive, she and other girls like us might get the chance to have her own child with a transplanted womb.
Back in August 2011 doctors successfully transplanted a donor uterus from a deceased woman into now 22 year old Derya Cert, a Turkish woman born without one but who had functioning ovaries. Being born without a uterus affects one in every 5000 women and until this procedure came along meant that the woman in question would be childless.
A uterus transplant has been attempted once before by a medical team in Saudi Arabia back in 2000. The womb came from a live donor but failed after 99 days due to heavy blood clotting and was removed from the patient receiving it. Medical centers in Sweden and the United States are also working on perfecting uterine transplant medical technology and the medical procedures and drugs necessary to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted organ.
Cert became the first woman in the world to have a successful transplant from a deceased woman, which raises the hopes of women that are in a similar situation to hers that they could one day undergo the procedure once the techniques are refined and give birth to their own biological children.
On April 1 Cert had an embryo implanted into her developed from one of her own eggs. It has been confirmed that she is now pregnant The embryo should it countinue to develop will be delevered by Ceasarean section.
Where the interest comes from in the trans feminine community is on multiple levels. We know that Lili Elbe's death was caused by a uterine transplant done on her back in 1931 because she wanted to be able to have children.
There are trans teens like Jazz who would love to someday become mothers, and if this technology is perfected by the time they reach adulthood, we'd have one of those situations we brainstormed about and we saw once upon a time as an impossible dream now becoming a possibility due to modern microsurgical techniques.
We've long wistfully expressed the sentiment in transworld if only trans men and trans women could swap body parts. It's becoming increasingly possible that a trans man when having the hysterectomy could designate it be donated to a trans woman for implantation.
But if they did so, this is a situation in which cis privilege would aggressively assert itself. If that trans man donated their uterus, it would probably get prioritized toward being given to a cis woman without one. Trans women would be extremely far down the transplant list despite the desires of some of us to be fruitful an multiply.
That research is also geared at this time toward helping infertile couples, not giving trans women the ability to give birth to biological children of their own
But that shouldn't stop us from doing hard solid thinking about reproductive rights issues, procreation and the potentially game altering way that uterine transplant medical technology that hones its procedures and becomes as common as heart and other organ transplants could one day be applied to trans women. .
The trans community definitely needs to be having these conversations about where we fit in this equation and think about what happens if they perfect uterine transplants. Could testicular ones be on the horizon next?
In the interim, cis and trans world will definitely be watching developments in Turkey as Derya Cert's historic pregnancy comes to a hopefully successful conclusion.