Womb transplants that would allow childless women to have babies could be available as early as next year, according to Dr Mats Brannstrom of University of Gothenburg. His team has already succeeded in implanting donated wombs in mice, rats, sheep and pigs and is now hoping to achieve the same success in women.
The forecast will bring hope to thousands of women of childbearing age who are born without a womb or have had it removed because of disease. The wombs could come from either living or dead donors. The only human womb transplant so far took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000, but the donated organ failed after four months.
Doctors say a living close relative such as a sister, after she has completed her own family, or a mother would be a good tissue match. But others believe the only way to obtain a womb with the blood vessels needed to take the strain of pregnancy would be to take it from a dead donor.
After the transplant, a woman would need IVF to become pregnant and a caesarean section to deliver the baby. She would also have to take immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejection. The long-term dangers of the drugs would mean that the new womb would have to be removed after one or two pregnancies. [Source: Daily Mail]
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