More than a year after kicking around the procedure's viability, doctors at the University of Goteborg in Sweden have performed the first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants, though they're saving all the back-patting for when (or if) the daughters, who began IVF treatment before the surgery, actually conceive.
According to the AP, this latest pair of uterus transplants follows closely on the heels of news that Turkish doctors had successfully transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor to a young woman, though Swedish surgeon Michael Olausson was unsure whether that woman had started undergoing fertility treatment yet. Olausson and the other members of the Swedish surgical team will consider the transplants they've carried out successful only if the recipients (both women in their 30s) are able to conceive and give birth to children. Everyone involved is, so far, doing well, according to surgical maestro Mats Brannstrom, who said that the donating mothers should be able to leave the hospital in about a week.
The university said one recipient had her uterus removed years ago after a bout with cervical cancer, while the other, previously reported-on Sarah Ottoson, has the rare Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser (MRKH) syndrome and so was born without certain parts of her reproductive system. After undergoing preliminary IVF treatments, the recipients were treated with hormones to stimulate their ovaries, which, Olausson told the AP, they already had:
Scientists would fertilize the eggs with sperm in a lab, before freezing the embryos. The frozen embryos would then be thawed and transferred if the women are in good health after the observation period. After a maximum of two pregnancies, the wombs will be removed again.
In an earlier, pre-transplant interview, neither Sarah nor her mother Eva seemed particularly weirded-out by the fact that, if successful, Sarah could carry a child in the same womb she occupied as a freedloading fetus, but that's because, through the miracle of modern medicine, sharing wombs across generations shouldn't be all that different from passing on other family heirlooms, like wedding gowns or dinner sets.
Doctors claim first mom-daughter uterus transplant [AP via MSNBC]
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