For all the fertile women unable to bear children who’d prefer not to use a surrogate mother, help is on the way…
Women with damaged or missing wombs could, within five years, have transplants that would allow them to have children naturally, scientists said yesterday.
Researchers said experiments carried out in animals had brought them a step closer to being able to carry out womb transplantation in humans.
Uteruses removed and later restored in sheep have for the first time been shown to be functioning normally.
If the operation can be perfected for humans, it could help thousands of women with Rokitansky syndrome, a rare congenital condition that affects one in 5,000 women in which the uterus develops abnormally but the ovaries still function.
It could also offer the chance to conceive naturally to those who have suffered damage caused by cervical cancer or fibroids.
The procedure would give the approximately 200 UK women per year who attempt to have their own biological children using surrogate mothers the chance to give birth naturally themselves.
Prof Mats Brannstrom, of the department of gynaecology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, presented the findings of his research on sheep at the annual meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (Eshre) in Prague yesterday.
Prof Brannstrom said: “Uterine transplant has a number of advantages over surrogacy. If you put your embryo in another woman you give up control and you don’t know if she might be smoking or taking drugs.
“There is also the issue of the bonding between the mother and the baby that takes place during pregnancy and childbirth.
“There are still many questions to answer but I hope we will be able to refine this technique and make it safe enough to use in women within five years.”
Time-to-clinic estimates from scientists make us laugh. There are quite a few issues to be addressed…
Where do you get a donor? Are uterus or uteri going to be harvested from organ donors? Will HLA typing be necessary? How long after your womb transplant surgery before you can take it out for a test drive?
Dear God . . . what if someone puts a uterus in a man?!?
Read more here. . .
(hat tip: Drudge Report)