Having periods is the first important step post-surgery: India’s first uterus recipient

Doctors, who have confirmed that the 21-year-old from Solapur has started menstruating, say this is an indication that the transplanted organ is functioning normally

 Having periods is the first important step post-surgery: India’s first uterus recipient

The first woman to have undergone uterine transplant in India has begun menstruating. Sharing her emotional journey, the 21-year-old from Solapur said she is happy and the reason she went ahead with the surgery is that she ‘wanted to experience what it is like to be a woman’. She was born without a uterus and received the organ from her mother.

The woman, who experienced periods for the first time in her life, said she had no clue what was happening to her when she first spotted blood in her urine. “When I first spotted blood in my urine, I did not what was happening to me. I did not know anything about menstrual cycle. I decided to tell the doctors about this,” she said.

After she informed the doctors about this development last week, it had been two days since she was spotting blood in her urine. The doctors, who conducted tests on her, confirmed to My Medical Mantra that she has indeed started menstruating. They have also informed us that she is yet to have a proper period and it is too early to expect this. What she is currently experiencing is only spotting, they said.

However, they view this development as a milestone as this indicates that the transplanted organ is functioning normally.

The woman, meanwhile, expressed relief and happiness over the start of menstrual cycle. She said the emotions were shared by her husband too. “My health is good and I am happy that I have achieved first important step post operation. Having periods is a whole new experience for me something I was missing out on all this time,” she said.

After uterus, Pune doctor eyes for revolution in non-vital organ transplants
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar

Director of Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital (GCH) Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, who led a team of 12 doctors for the surgery in May, said, “Her endometrial thickness has gone down, which indicates starting of menstrual cycle. It is the important sign indicating that her uterus has started functioning.”

The woman will now be under observation for the next six months. “If she menstruates regularly for six months, we will begin treatment to a test tube baby,” he added. All the recipients were made to undergo ovulation stimulation by pre-planned IVF for oocyte retrieval.

Around 25 such procedures have been attempted worldwide, but only less than 10 successful post-transplant pregnancies are known. The first was in Sweden in 2014. In some cases of transplant performed abroad, the women have failed to menstruate.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Gynaecologist Dr Neeta Warty, the only doctor from Mumbai in the 12-member team said, “This is the happiest news for us. Both the women who underwent uterus transplant have got their periods. We now have more than 200 women in the waiting list for the uterus transplant.”

Doctors said  GCH will start first of its kind OPD in India for uterus transplant in Pune on Wednesday (June 05). It will be inaugurated by Mukta Tilak, the mayor of Pune.