A 36-year-old woman in Sweden who underwent a womb transplant gave birth to a baby boy last month. Coming soon: a slew of "Things Only Womb-Transplant Kids Will Understand" articles.
The identity of the couple has yet to be released, but they must definitely be excited and relieved. The couple went through quite the hefty process: through IVF, they produced 11 embryos (the woman's ovaries still functioned normally), which doctors froze. Doctors then performed the transplant—while other transplants have used the wombs of women related to the recipient, the donor in this case was a 61-year-old family friend who had undergone menopause seven years before.
The doctors then administered drugs to suppress the women's immune system as to prevent her body from rejecting her new womb. (These drugs apparently can be damaging after long-term use, so the couple must decide pretty soon if they will try again for a second child or take the womb out.) Then after a year, doctors implanted one of the frozen embryos into the woman's womb, and a pregnancy took. BBC reports:
The baby was born prematurely, almost 32 weeks into the pregnancy, after the mother developed pre-eclampsia and the baby's heart rate became abnormal.
Both baby and mum are now said to be doing well.
In an anonymous interview with the AP news agency, the father said: "It was a pretty tough journey over the years, but we now have the most amazing baby.
"He's no different from any other child, but he will have a good story to tell.''
Meanwhile the team of doctors who worked with this couple are pretty ecstatic with their work, which has really opened up huge possibilities for women dealing with infertility.
Liza Johannesson, a gynaecological surgeon in the team, said: "It gives hope to those women and men that thought they would never have a child, that thought they were out of hope."
Meanwhile, this team of doctors is working with eight other couples who are in the same boat, attempting pregnancy with a transplanted womb and figuring out if this is the most effective and safest option. Obviously, the effort that went into the world's first womb transplant baby was no walk in the park, but the healthy baby boy represents a lot of hope for a lot of people. Whoa science.
Image via BBC.