There’s new hope for women unable to bear children because they don’t have a uterus, with surgeons in the United States performing the country’s first successful uterus transplant.
The procedure, while still experimental, could give thousands of women who were born without a uterus, or who have lost theirs to disease, the chance to fall pregnant and give birth.
While exact details of the successful transplant are yet to be released, the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic said the nine hour surgery was performed on a 26 year old woman using a uterus from a deceased donor. The woman is recovering well.
The Cleveland Clinic announced last autumn that they would begin a clinical trial that would attempt 10 transplants. Other countries have tried womb transplants, with Sweden reporting five successful procedures and healthy babies so far.
Some have questioned whether the procedure would be a realistic option for many women, given its medical risks including rejection of the transplant and the need for the patient to take strong immune-suppressing drugs.
The transplant isn’t life saving, unlike kidney or heart transplants, but is classed as ‘life enhancing’. It is not meant to last for a lifetime, just long enough to allow the woman to give birth to one or two children.
Whilst a lot more drastic than options like surrogacy, there is no doubt the procedure could offer a solution to many women unable to experience the joy of carrying their own children. However, it remains to be seen how accessible and expensive this transplant will be.
I've been pregnant twice and couldn’t imagine having missed out on feeling the kicks of my own little ones while they were in my womb. However, I’m not sure I could willingly undergo such a huge procedure. To me, it almost sounds like something you'd see in a futuristic Sci-Fi movie.
What do you think - if you weren’t able to carry your own children, would you consider it?