May 24, 2013
Sweden performs world-first mother-to-daughter uterus transplant
Medical teams in Sweden performed the first-ever uterus transplant between a mother and her daughter last weekend, the University of Goteborg announced today.
In the operations, two young women were operated on, being given the wombs of their mothers.
“One of the women had had her womb taken out after cancer was found in her uterus. The other woman was born without a uterus. Both are aged 30,” the University said in a statement.
“More than ten surgeons participated in the operation, which were carried out without complication. The women received the wombs and apart from feeling tired after the operations, were fine,” said Mats Brannstrom, professor of Gynecology from the university said.
The university said it estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 women of child-bearing age in Sweden alone were unable to bear children due the lack of a uterus.
The medical team said the quality of the uterus was controlled by the ovaries and the hormones feeding into it, and in theory a transplanted, post-menopausal uterus could carry a baby.
One of the two recipients, identified only by the name Anna, said she realised some may criticise the operation on ethical grounds, but that for her it simply meant restoring a bodily function, of which she had been deprived by cancer.
"It feels huge to be able to experience this," she said in comments posted on the website of the Sahlgrenska hospital where the operations were carried out without any complications.
She said there were still no guarantees she and her boyfriend would be able to conceive. "We have received a wonderful opportunity, and if it works out it is a lovely bonus."