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Thursday 24th May 2018

A step closer to womb transplant

22nd October 2009

British scientists have announced that they believe the first successful human womb transplant could take place within two years.


The UK experts told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Atlanta that they have established how to transplant a womb with a regular blood supply so it will last long enough to carry a pregnancy.

Research has been conducted at the Royal Veterinary College in London using donor rabbits and subsequent examinations indicate the transplant had been successful. The next step is to assess it on larger animals.

The charity Uterine Transplant UK is seeking funding of £250,000 after being denied grants by several medical research bodies.

In time, the breakthrough could offer an alternative to surrogacy or adoption for women whose own wombs have been damaged by diseases such as cervical cancer.

An attempt in Saudi Arabia in 2000 on a human womb transplant failed after it was rejected after three months but experts now believe they have solved a number of issues to carry out a properly vascularised graft.

With a transplanted womb the baby would have to be delivered by Caesarean section and conception would be through IVF.

However, Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: "I think there is a big difference between demonstrating effectiveness in a rabbit and being able to do this in a larger animal or a human."

Clare Lewis-Jones, from Infertility Network UK, said "a great deal of thought and discussion" was needed on the issue including the ethical ramifications.


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Article Information

Title: A step closer to womb transplant
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 12989
Date Added: 22nd Oct 2009


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