For the first time a woman has given birth to a baby from a transplanted womb – a real milestone in the treatment of infertility initials 5th.
It all starts with a rare condition in which women are born without part or all of their womb or vagina, and it’s called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuester-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome.
A team of doctors set about transplanting wombs from nine donors into women who either had MRKH syndrome or previous hysterectomies. Of the transplants, 7 were successful with the women beginning to menstruate with 3 months.
As great as that was, they weren’t out of the woods yet: even where transplants showed promise some of the womens’ immune systems began to reject the new wombs.
The new mom’s womb threatened to reject 3 times, but doctors managed to bring it under control using drugs. The downside to anti-rejection drugs is that they carry serious side-effects.
One year after the womb transplant, an early-stage IVF embryo (using her own eggs) was inserted into the womb. The pregnancy was normal until the mom’s blood pressure shot up with pre-eclampsia, and the baby was delivered 8 weeks premature by caesarean section. Both mom and her baby son are doing well.
Prof Mats Brannstrom, leader of the transplant team, described the birth in Sweden as a joyous moment.
Where Did The Donated Womb Come From?
In this case, the transplanted womb was donated by a 61 year old friend of the recipient who had started menopause seven years earlier. Womb transplants have been attempted by 2 other hospitals, but have not been successful.