Can give birth to human men

Uterine transplant Can men bear children?

Would a man really do that?

Theoretically conceivable, says Professor Dr. Matthias Beckmann in conversation with MDR Wissen. He is the director of the women's clinic at the Erlangen University Hospital. For him it is purely medically conceivable that men would also become mothers, i.e. carry a child to term.

But he also suspects that nobody would do it. Because the price a man would have to pay for it would be quite high: the male anatomy is not exactly identical to that of a woman. According to the doctor, the crux of the matter is the blood vessels that lead to the uterus. In general, vessels can be relocated from the leg to the abdomen. Everything is possible, but very, very complex, because in men these arteries are responsible for the penis and testicles:

This means that you have to cut the man off from the blood supply to the testicles and penis, and then use the blood vessels to connect that.

Prof. Matthias BeckmannUniversity Hospital Erlangen

This would probably have consequences that cannot be reversed.

Medically a miracle - and ethically?

But the mere possibility that this is within the realm of the imaginable is medically remarkable. The fiction, whether it is possible with a man or with a woman who was born without a uterus, is equally a miracle of medicine:

For me this is a technical success because it shows that the uterus can be transferred from a living donor to a recipient.

Prof. Matthias Beckmann

If something like this works in principle and there have already been 14 births worldwide after a uterine transplant, it seems only a matter of time before the first man will bear a child. Experience shows that what can be done will be tried at some point, somewhere.

Men who have children - what do ethicists say?

That would actually be desirable. You could really create gender justice there.

Dr. Claudia BozarroUniversity of Freiburg

Medical ethicist Dr. Claudia Bozzaro from the University of Freiburg would have no problem with it from an ethical point of view. So far, nature has only planned a beer belly for men, but not a baby bump. The idea of ​​naturalness has long since ceased to be the top priority in medicine.

M.an could also say that a woman born without a uterus is naturally incapable of doing so either.

Dr. Claudia Bozzaro

Whether a man or a woman has this wish is an open question. Much is possible medically. One would also somehow manage to make men able to breastfeed.

M.it a sensible hormone therapy. But there are enough substitutes for breast milk, so that should be the least problem with such a procedure.

Dr. Claudia Bozarro

But Dr. Claudia Bozzaro generally has abdominal pain with this type of implantation. No matter whether from woman to woman or from woman to man. The intervention contradicts the medical ethical principle of "no harm". After all, the life of a healthy woman, i.e. the donor, is being jeopardized. It's not about life support, but about a person's desire to have children.