LIFESTYLE

Womb Transplants Could Offer Hope To Thousands Of Infertile Women

06/10/2014 11:16 BST | Updated 07/10/2014 09:59 BST

Last week, a woman in Sweden gave birth to a baby boy using a transplanted womb. Now, two more women are expected to give birth by the end of the year after having the ground-breaking procedure.

The first baby, Vincent, was born to an anonymous 36-year-old woman who was born without a womb. The woman received a donated womb from a friend in her 60s who had gone through menopause seven years earlier.

Around 5,000 girls are born without a womb in the UK each year, so the revolutionary procedure could give hope to thousands of women who are currently unable to have children.

womb transplant

Doctors preparing to perform a womb transplant at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden

The Swedish woman was part of a clinical trial of nine women having womb transplants - two of whom are now more than 28 weeks pregnant.

The women all conceived through IVF, as their surgery means it is impossible for them to conceive naturally.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Swedish mother said: "I was terribly sad when doctors told me I would never carry my own child."

Dr Mats Brannstrom, from the University of Gothenburg who led the transplant team, said womb transplants could be offered to a range of women, including those who have suffered repeated miscarriages or those who have lost their womb due to cancer.

"Certainly the indications for this surgery could be wider. I have had emails from ladies with all these conditions from all over the world," Dr Brannstrom told the Telegraph.

"Some are telling me their stories, some also want to donate. These women have usually had two or three children and are going for sterilisation and ask if they can donate their uterus.

"In the future it is not going to be a problem to get a donor, not like a kidney, heart or liver. It is a sisterhood thing. Women are saying that they have had their children and why shouldn't they help another women to have the same joy?"

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Dr Allan Pacey, the chairman of the British Fertility Society, told the BBC: "I think it is brilliant and revolutionary and opens the door to many infertile women.

"The scale of it feels a bit like IVF. It feels like a step change. The question is can it be done repeatedly, reliably and safely."

IVF Treatment