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Serviços Humanitários / 28/07/2021


Mother meets woman who donated uterus so that she could get pregnant

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Mother meets woman who donated uterus so that she could get pregnant

Chelsea Jovanovich and Cheryl Urban didn't know each other when their lives were linked.

It was a uterus transplant surgery that Cheryl made it possible for Chelsea to become pregnant with her first child. Now, the two met and were very emotional.

Uterine transplants are still considered experimental, around 50 have been performed worldwide. The procedure involves transplanting the uterus a living or deceased donor into another woman so that she can carry a baby.

Rare disease

Chelsea found that she couldn't have children at 15 years old. The news came with the diagnosis of a rare disease called MRKH, which meant her uterus never fully developed.

Upon marriage, she and her husband, Jake, still tried other methods of having their own child, but they were unsuccessful.

The two were close to giving up, until Chelsea decided to enroll in a uterus transplant program at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, USA.

experimental surgery

Even though it is still an experimental surgery, uterine transplants are very promising.

Dr. Kathleen O'Neill, a surgeon at Penn Medicine who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, explained that the procedure is an option in situations only the uterus is affected.

It is estimated that only 5% of women of reproductive age fall into this category.

“These women have ovaries, eggs, but no uterus to carry the pregnancy,” said the doctor. "Once we were able to give them this uterus, the vast majority become pregnant and have babies."

the meeting of the two

The news of a compatible donor for Chelsea did not take long. Right after the first exams, she already knew that she could undergo the transplant.

Chelsea and her husband moved to Pennsylvania, USA, for treatment, in February 2020.

The surgery lasted 12 hours and the two women never saw each other. After the birth of Chelsea's first child, she got information about the donor and made a point of meeting her.

“Something brought us together,” Cheryl said. "Even our personalities look very similar." This bond was only strengthened in May of that year.

“Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would be able to carry my own child,” she said. “Science is miraculous”.

In June, Cheryl met her friend's baby and today, they are close. “I feel like part of your family,” she said. “I felt like I was pregnant with him,” she finished.

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