This is truly amazing news for women everywhere who were unfortunate enough to be born without a uterus, meaning that they would not be able to conceive. Until now, that is.
For the first time in history, a womb transplant was conducted in Sweden, and the mother successfully gave birth to her baby boy, named Vincent, just last month. The 36 year old Swedish woman was the first to go through this groundbreaking process, as stated by the Lancet Medical Journal.
Despite having to be delivered by Caesarean Section at 31 weeks, weighing just 3.9 pounds, the mother and baby Vincent are said to be doing well. Here’s how it happened. The woman had very healthy ovaries, however she suffered a genetic condition that left her without a womb from the time of her own birth. Giving this newfound solution a shot, the woman received a womb transplant from a friend of her family (somebody buy that woman a drink, quick!), who was aged 61 and had already been through menopause.
Then last year, the organ was transplanted. Even at that point, nobody could have been sure that this would work. From there, the woman underwent in-vitro fertilisation after her eggs were expertly harvested from her ovaries, fertilised and then cryogenically preserved. Then it was time to insert the single embryo.
Three weeks later, to everyone’s relief, that fateful stick on which you pee gave a positive result. The woman who was born without a womb was now pregnant.
“When the baby came out it screamed immediately which is a good sign that the baby is fine,” said the lead of the operation, Professor Matts Braennstroem of the University of Gothenburg. “It was fantastic happiness – of mommy and the whole team.”
“Absolute uterine factor infertility is the only major type of female infertility that is still viewed as untreatable,” said the surgeons in a paper published by the Lancet.
“Our success is based on more than ten years of intensive animal research and surgical training by our team and opens up the possibility of treating many young females worldwide that suffer from uterine infertility… What is more, we have demonstrated the feasibility of live-donor uterus transplantation, even from a post-menopausal donor.” said Braennstroem.
Well, we can’t decide if it’s more astonishing that the womb came from a post-menopausal donor or that it worked at all.
Once again, the capabilities of modern science and technology leave us dumfounded. A great day for infertility.
Caroline Foran @CarolineForan