In January, we heard that several women in Sweden had received uterine transplants. This weekend, for the first time in history, a woman born without a womb gave birth to a living child. [more inside]
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. [more inside]
Invasive amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling (CVS) tests are commonly used to determine the chromosomal, structural and genetic abnormalities in fetuses. But could they eventually become obsolete? A Chinese study has found that a complete copy of the fetal genome exists in the mother's blood, suggesting many prenatal diagnoses could potentially be performed noninvasively. [more inside]
Eighteenth century obstetric engravings by Jan van Rymsdyk Dutch illustrator van Rymsdyk (also spelled van Riemsdyk) was working in England when he made 31 engravings for William Hunter's The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus. Recent research suggests Hunter and his fellow pioneer of obstetrics William Smellie may have been responsible for the murders of some 40 pregnant women in order to gain corpses for their anatomical research.
What bleeds [Flash], grows babies [possibly NSFW], and "functions so efficiently that a full understanding of its processes may lead to novel treatments for a plethora of medical disorders?" The Uterus! Jacqueline Maybin, a PhD student at the Centre For Reproductive Biology at Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, discusses her research into "the secrets of the womb" and its incredible ability to heal and repair in her essay, "The Best A Man Can't Get."
Using ground-breaking photography techniques, revolutionary 4D scanning techniques and anatomically accurate models, Channel 4 shows us Extraordinary Animals in the Womb.
Amazing photos of human fetal development from conception to birth.