Following the success with several womb transplants in Sweden, doctors in the United Kingdom have been given the approval to conduct womb transplants for 10 women – part of a clinical trial to be launched by spring this year.
The Health Research Authority in the UK has released approval for the womb transplants to be carried out; and if successful, the first baby to be born with the help of a transplanted womb might arrive by 2018 to the delight of doctors and women who require the procedure.
In recent years, Swedish doctors have successfully performed a series of uterus transplants; and in 2014, nine women from Sweden were recipients of reproductive organs from family members still living. The first baby to be born by a transplanted uterus came in October 2014 – and the womb came from a live donor.
For UK doctors, they will harvest the uterus from “brain-dead” patients with very healthy bodies. To this end, women who successfully receive the new womb with receive new embryos through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), since their fallopian tubes will not be connected to the new wombs.
The head of the transplant team, Dr. Richard Smith of Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London expressed enthusiasm over the project, saying that over the years he has been struggling to get the project off the ground.
Dr. Smith said for women who were born without a uterus, or who have had their uterus removed for whatever reasons, the prospect of success with the new wombs is so encouraging and something to look forward to.
“The UK team has been working on this for many years and so it is very exciting that they have been given the go-ahead to move into clinical practice,” said British Fertility Society Adam Balen. “This opens up the possibility to carry their own pregnancy rather than reply upon IVF with their eggs and surrogacy”.
Medical sources revealed it would require up to six hours to get the womb transplant surgery fully done, and the patient might have to be monitored for one year. After approval is given for IVF, an embryo is then implanted, and the baby delivered after eight months via C-section.