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The wombs that brought these two women into the world, also delivered their children.

wombtransplant

Science and women – is there anything that these two together can’t do?

Nine women were recently given womb transplants after they were either born without one or lost their womb to cancer. Seven of these have been successful.

As part of this fertility treatment program, two mothers from Sweden gave their daughters their own wombs so that their grandsons could be born.

The Telegraph reports that the first boy was born to a 29-year old Swede who lacked a womb at birth.

The 34-year-old mother of the second boy had her womb removed when she was treated for cancer in her 20s. Doctors have called this procedure ground-breaking, likening it to the first successful heart transplant.

Henrik Hagberg, a Professor of Foetal medicine at Kings College London was at the first birth. He says the true heroes here are the grandmothers.

“It is an absolutely extraordinary gift. It is probably the best thing you can do for your daughter,” he said. “The mothers were still very much doubting whether things would really go well. You don’t take anything for granted.”

Allan Pacey of the British Fertility Society told the Daily Mail, “This is a very good success rate for a new surgical procedure.”

The hopes are that the benefits of this procedure could be felt widely, even extending to create less of a need for surrogacy and extended to women who have suffered repeated miscarriages.

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The first successful birth from a donated womb was reported only a few months ago. A 36-year-old mother received a uterus from a close family friend, this resulted in a successful birth – of another boy, called Victor in September. It was heralded around the world.

Doctors had tried the procedure before, but never had it resulted in a live birth.

Video thumbnail for youtube video She was born without a womb. She just gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl. - Mamamia

This was the first time a womb was actually transplanted – in the past wombs were used from women who had just died instead of from live donors.

There are of course critics to the procedure with some medical experts arguing that taking a womb from a live person is unethical and too big a risk to the donor for an operation that isn’t lifesaving. However for many women without a womb who have faced a lifetime with the ache of knowing they will never give birth this criticism is obsolete.

Kristen Petersen
Kristen Peterson a blogger from the US with MRKH
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Women like Kristen Peterson a blogger from the US has MRKH, a congenital disorder that affects one in 5000 women and prevents the womb from developing.

When she heard of the first birth from a womb transplant, she cried.

“Because for the first time since my diagnosis in 2003, I had hope that pregnancy with MRKH is a possibility. This feeling is more powerful, more consuming than words can explain. And I cried. I cried tears of joy, hope, and pure happiness. I cried, wrapped into myself on the couch. I cried, with my sister’s arms wrapped around me. I cried, the tears covering my pillow.”

The procedure, only in its early days already has a database in Australia with the names of 500 women who have expressed preliminary interest.

A 23-year-old also called Kristen from Adelaide told Fairfax Media earlier this year that the procedure would be life changing for women like her. She also said that her mother was ready to donate her womb if the procedure became available in Australia.

”To me it doesn’t feel like getting somebody else’s body part, I feel like it’s my chance to have my own baby,” Kristen Male said. ”And the way my mum feels about it is that she’s giving a uterus to get a grandchild.”

And surely every woman – every potential mother and every future grandmother deserves a chance at that.

We will watch the development of this amazing science with interest.

This story originally featured on ivillage and has been republished with full permission.

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