Doctors to attempt first pregnancy in woman with transplanted womb

Since September 2012, a team of Swedish doctors led by Dr. Mats Brannstrom has performed a total of nine womb transplants to women who want to carry their own child but are unable to do so because they were born with a missing or malformed uterus, or lost their uterus due to cancer. The transplants came from mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. The women who have received the transplanted wombs thus far have not experienced any serious complications.

Before the transplants, the women had their eggs retrieved and fertilized with their partners’ sperm. The resulting embryos were cryopreserved (frozen). Doctors recommended that the women receiving the donor wombs wait a year before attempting a pregnancy. Once the women are ready to become mothers, they can have the embryos transferred into their transplanted womb.

Given that the first womb transplant was conducted approximately a year ago, between a mother and her daughter, doctors plan to begin transferring embryos to attempt a pregnancy very soon. If successful, the first recipient will carry her child in the same womb she was born from.

Team leader Dr. Brannstrom says, the goal “of course, is to get a healthy baby. We don’t know if that is achievable yet, and we don’t know the risks yet.” Time will tell whether this unique treatment can help women carry their own child to term in a transplanted womb.

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