Doctors hope that the world’s first womb transplant baby will be born this year, after doctors successfully introduced an embryo into her body.
The woman was born without a uterus due to MRKH syndrome and received a transplant from her mother. The Swedish trial transplanted 9 patients with uteri from living relatives. Dr Mats Brännström, who is leading the trial, stated that “A success would be important proof of the principle that a procedure is now available to cure uterine infertility.”
Due to the unusual procedure, if the foetus is carried to term it will also be the first time a woman has given birth from the same uterus she was born from. However, it is not the first time such a pregnancy has been attempted; previous attempts in Turkey and Saudi Arabia did not carry the babies to term due to complications or had to have the uterus removed due to clotting.
The study has caused some controversy, particularly among doctors who believe that deceased donors would be more suitable for medical and ethical reasons. However, the researchers believe that live donors ensure that the uterus is in good condition and the familial tie provides a better immunological match. The same principle is often applied to other live donations such as kidneys.