January 13, 2014 12:36 PM Subscribe
posted by showbiz_liz (43 comments total)
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Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs
donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant. Many of the women, who were either born without uteruses or who had them removed for medical reasons, have already begun to menstruate. Some doctors question
whether uterine transplantation is worth the risk to the patient, but many women say that they would be willing to accept the risks
in exchange for being able to bear their own children.
The Swedish experiment is by no means the first attempt at transplanting a uterus into a human. The first attempt, in 1931, resulted in the death of Lili Elbe
, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Techniques gradually improved, and most recently, in 2011, 22-year-old Derya Sert made history
as the first human to successfully become pregnant with a transplanted uterus. However, the pregnancy was terminated
after eight weeks, since the fetus lacked a heartbeat and the pregnancy was nonviable.
Uterine transplantation is of great interest to medical ethicists
, and a preliminary set of stadards was outlined in the 2012 Montreal Criteria for the Ethical Feasibility of Uterine
The science behind uterus retrieval and transplantation is more advanced in animal models than in humans
- live births have been recorded from transplanted uteruses in mice, dogs, and sheep, and successful transplants have been recorded in other animals, including non-human primates.