Women who have suffered from cancers or other issues that required their uterus to be removed now have renewed hope. Doctors in Sweden were able to successfully transplant donated wombs into healthy young women. These procedures are being called a success and mark an revolutionary moment in the field of obstetrics. Most of the women had either suffered from cervical cancer or were born without a uterus. It is still an open question whether these women will be able to successfully carry a pregnancy following this procedure.
While many essential organs like hearts, livers, and kidneys have been transplanted for years, this is the first time womb transplants have been attempted. Previous attempts in Turkey and Saudi Arabia did not succeed in allowing the woman to become pregnant. But doctors are reporting that the procedures in Sweden are re-writing the obstetrics books. While the procedure did not connect the wombs to fallopian tubes, preventing natural pregnancy, the women are planning to use in-vitro fertilization methods. Before the surgery, the women had eggs removed and frozen so they could be fertilized in the lab and placed into the new wombs after they have fully recovered from the transplant surgery.
This cutting edge procedure was seen as controversial for some in the obstetrics field, namely because live donors were used for a procedure that doesn’t save lives. While an inability to become pregnant does not put a woman’s life at risk, it can significantly decrease her happiness and even lead to depression. Doctors in Sweden hope that this procedure can help the thousands of women around the world who would like the opportunity to carry their child to term. Medical professionals from around the world will keep a close eye on this study over the next year or so to determine whether the women are able to carry their pregnancy to term. If they can, it could be a game changer for women who want to be mothers around the world.