A woman in Sweden successfully gave birth after receiving womb transplant. Her live birth to a baby boy via cesarean section is a first and a medical milestone, the doctor who performed the procedure revealed on Friday.
Although the 36-year old woman had healthy ovaries, she lacked a uterus since she was born, a condition that affects only one in 4,500 women. The uterus is part of the female reproductive system that plays a crucial role in the nourishment and development of the fetus during pregnancy making it essential for childbirth.
Giving live birth would have not been possible for the unidentified woman until she heard about the research conducted by Mats Brannstrom, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden that involve transplanting wombs into women, who like her, do not have one.
Last year the woman received a womb transplant with the uterus donated by a 61-year old family friend who has already gone through menopause and already has two children. Even after the transplant, however, it still remains unclear whether it is possible for the woman to get pregnant.
The effects of the transplant itself posed some problems. The woman came close to rejecting the organ several times and the doctors had to prescribe her with several drugs to prevent her body from rejecting her new womb.
"Mats told us there were no guarantees, but my partner and I, maybe we like to take risks, we thought this was the perfect idea," the woman related.
The new mother started having her menstrual period six weeks after the transplant and this indicated that her womb is healthy. After a year, the transplanted womb was working well enough that the doctors decided it is time to transfer to her the embryo created with her egg and husband's sperm in a lab dish.
The woman eventually gave birth to a son who was named "Vincent". The child was born prematurely via cesarean section last month and weighed 3.9 pounds at birth.
The possibility of women giving birth after receiving uterus has previously casted doubts among some experts as it was not yet clear whether the transplanted womb can support and nourish a developing fetus. The live birth has finally settled the question and could open up new possibilities for women who cannot bear a child after losing a uterus due to bouts with cancer or who were born without one.