If you or someone you know has received an organ transplant, you know how drastically it can change a life. Modern medicine has made the transplantation procedure safer than ever before, and with a single surgery, a person can go from withering away on their death bed to running around and living life to its fullest the same as anyone else their age. Transplants are truly a marvel of the medical world, but there are certain restrictions to people who receive them. Anti-rejection medications must be taken every single day, and there are common side effects after the surgery such as hypertension and diabetes. If you’ve had a transplant or might need one in the future, you’re probably wondering whether or not pregnancy is out of the question.

Amazingly, people who have had organ transplants can successfully give birth to a healthy baby and live to tell the tale. Of course, close supervision by trained medical professionals is required. Additionally, transplant recipients interested in having a baby should be in the best health possible. After a transplant, rejection is constantly a concern. At any given time, your body could consider the new organ an intruder and attempt to attack it, which causes organ failure. Women who have had no instances of such rejection, have stable graft function, and have any complications such as hypertension under control will be able to have a baby successfully. Depending on the type of organ transplant that was received, women can expect normal hormone function and conception abilities to return up to two years after the procedure.

Doctors specializing in the organ that has been transplanted will also need to be present for the birth to monitor the health of the mother during delivery. For example, pregnancies after kidney transplants are relatively common, and renal experts will be present to assist with the birth. Since the first in 1958, thousands of successful pregnancies have been reported after kidney transplantation.

Even if you have never received an organ transplant and don’t intend to do so, it can be comforting to know that pregnancy is possible after receiving one. Sometimes life can take unexpected turns, and for women excited at the prospect of motherhood, medical conditions that affect a certain organ can be devastating. Transplants truly give new life to their recipients, and it turns out those recipients can then pass the favor on to their offspring.

Source: Sandeep Mukherjee et al: Transplantation and Pregnancy. Medscape Drugs, Diseases and Procedures January 2012