Emelie Eriksson gave birth to her son approximately two years ago, and she recently decided she was ready to speak of the groundbreaking procedure that allowed her to have a child.
The 30-year-old woman who lives just north of Stockholm says that this entire adventure has been worthy of science fiction stories.
"This is something that you read in history books, and now in the future when you read about this, it's about me," Eriksson told the Associated Press.
The reason she agreed to make her story public is to serve as inspiration to other women worldwide who experience problems and need help in conceiving.
Dr. Mats Brannstrom, the Swedish doctor who performed her operation, is the only one in the world to have helped delivering babies from women with donated wombs. Although he has only solved five of such cases, it's his strong belief that one day, this procedure will become standard.
He is currently collaborating with doctors from other countries, including associates at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic in the U.S., to perfect the procedure and make it available to the larger public. At the same time, two former members of his team were also involved in four similar procedures at Baylor University, Texas. One of them was successful. However, the patient is not yet ready to attempt pregnancy.
Emelie was only 15 when she started asking herself why she hadn't gotten her period. After medical consultations made the reasons clear, she never expected to be able to carry a child. Not long after this, she started reading about scientific experiments and procedures and the attempts to create organs entirely from stem cells. It was then when she learned about the Brannstrom and his experiments.
"I thought this was something that could only happen (far) in the future," explained Marie Eriksson, who is 53 years old.
After several tests and exchanged emails, the two women were accepted for the procedure. Emelie had the full support of her husband, even during the small episodes when, after the surgery, her body didn't fully accept the organ.
She is willing to tell the entire story to her child when he will reach the proper age.
Brannstrom's research into this area goes back almost 20 years ago, when a cervical cancer patient requested a womb transplant. Although, at the time, he found the idea quite unordinary, he decided to give it a shot.
The human uterine transplant was not something common. In fact, his research marked the moment the procedures began to be possible. His research also aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and post-operative care of patients. His expertise in ovulation mechanisms and uterus transplantation constitutes the basis for future research in the area.
In Sweden alone, between 2,000 and 3,000 women find it impossible to have children because of uterine dysfunctions. Meanwhile, in the U.S., 50,000 women cannot get pregnant because of uterine factor infertility.