World’s first mother to daughter uterus transplant performed

Two Swedish women are hoping to get pregnant after undergoing a unique surgery

WRITTEN BY: Kelly Bradley
The abdomen of a pregnant woman.
Image Source: Canwest News Service via Wikimedia Commons
The abdomen of a pregnant woman.

Doctors at the University of Goteborg in Sweden are anxiously waiting on the results of a uterus transplant between a mother and daughter. The surgery took place over the weekend with no complications. However, in order for the surgery to be considered a success, the women must be able to carry healthy babies to term.

Both women are in their 30s, with one of the women having had her uterus removed years ago due to cervical cancer. The other woman was born without a womb.

Following surgery, the women are to undergo a year of observation before any attempts are made at in vitro fertilization. This is a large step towards helping women who have lost the ability to have children. However, it is not clear how the surgery will affect different women. Of course, there are certain risks that accompany the procedure. There is a chance the womb may have fewer blood vessels than would be found in the patient originally. This could cause insufficient development of the fetus.

One of the Swedish surgeons, Michael Olausson, said “There could be a lower risk of organ rejection when the donor is a family member. But a more important factor is the emotional connection between mother and daughter.”

A similar surgery was performed in Turkey last year which was successful. A womb from a deceased donor was given to a young woman. It has not yet been determined if the woman has started fertility treatment. The same procedure was tried with a live donor, but it was not as successful. The uterus had to be removed a few months later due to a blood clot.

Should the surgery be a success, it will prove to be life-changing for women who are unable to carry children.

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