Mother-to-daughter uterus transplants give women a chance at having babies!
Medical advances have gone beyond our wildest imaginations. When the first heart transplant in the world happened in 1950, everyone was left in awe at the possibilities of organ donation. The recent news of a group of doctors in Sweden that successfully performed a double transplant left me speechless--and even more so because the donors were the organ recipients' own mothers!
Even though the patients' names were not released, we do know that the women who received the organs were approximately 30 years old and neither had uteruses and thus would have never been able to have babies. One suffered cervical cancer and had to have her uterus removed, while the other was born without a uterus at all. Both donor moms underwent this operation with the hope that they would give their daughters a chance to be mothers themselves. The moms were both over 50 years old and even though after menopause their ovaries were no longer ovulating, doctor's explained that the uterus is perfectly functional well into a woman's 60s.
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It was an extremely delicate surgery that required more than 10 surgeons that had been training together since 1999. Even though none of them want to say the procedure has been 100 percent successful yet--until a baby is actually born from the organ!--the prognosis is really positive. The patients, who are now rapidly recuperating from their surgeries, will have to wait about a year to start trying to conceive via artificial insemination.
Last year, doctors in Turkey performed this same operation but it ended up being unsuccessful due to compatibility problems. In this Swedish case, it's expected that because the uteruses came from the women's moms, that they won't be rejected by the women's bodies. If successful, the new babies will gestate in the same womb that saw the development of their mothers--kinda blows your mind, right?
Even though most cases of infertility are treatable, the lack of a womb up to now was the ultimate barrier in conception. If this procedure is successful, the doors will be open to thousands of women that either because of a disease or a genetic condition didn't have the possibility of conceiving. Now they can dream of someday being moms!
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