Woman will attempt to carry a child in her mother’s transplanted womb in groundbreaking medical procdure
It could be the ultimate mother-daughter bond.
Swedish doctors are getting ready to help a woman use the same womb she was born from to carry her own baby. It’s a potential medical first that would involve transplanting frozen embryos into the wombs that mothers have donated to their adult daughters.
In September 2012, the Swedish team performed the world’s first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants in two, back-to-back operations that made headlines worldwide. Since then, a total of nine women have received such transplants.
Doctors said they would wait a year to ensure the transplanted wombs were functioning properly before attempting pregnancy.
The longest surviving transplant is now almost a year out, team leader Dr. Mats Brannstrom, professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told Postmedia News. Doctors could begin transferring embryos within weeks.
The women who had transplants have more than 10 embryos each in deep freeze that were created using the woman’s own eggs and her partner’s sperm.
“I don’t expect my nine patients, all of them, to get pregnant and get a baby,” Brannstrom said. “I hope some of them do. And then perhaps we can go back and look, ‘why did it work in some cases, and why it didn’t work in others?’ “
Some of the women were born with a missing or malformed uterus; others lost their wombs to cancer. In addition to mothers, donor wombs have come from sisters, aunts and friends.
The oldest donor mothers are in their 60s.
The first embryo transfers will be the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of research and experiments on mice, rats, sheep, pigs and, over the last four years, baboons.