When recent news broke about the successful womb transplants of nine women in Sweden, many eyebrows were raised, and some jaws even dropped. Many thought it was outlandish and unethical to do such a thing. But speak to a woman suffering from female infertility about it, and her eyes will widen for another reason all together: womb transplants are a groundbreaking, new, possible option for women struggling to carry a child.
The women who participated in the experimental womb transplants were either born without a uterus or had it removed as treatment for cervical cancer. It was not a lifesaving surgery. They simply wanted to become pregnant. And in countries like Sweden and other European countries, it’s illegal to have a surrogate to carry a child.
More good news: doctors successfully transferred an embryo into the womb of one of the women who underwent the transplant. It will still be a few weeks until we learn whether those efforts were successful, but it offers great hope to those searching for an answer to overcome female infertility in order to become pregnant.
To me, this pioneering surgery is absolutely fascinating. While it will be some time before we know if it is an effective approach in addressing female infertility, and even longer before it’s an option for women in the U.S., it demonstrates the constant advancement of medicine and science to help women become pregnant. Those who struggle with female infertility know it can be a frustrating, emotional journey. I work with many couples who try for years to have a child. Together, we work to find the right combination of medicine, treatment plans or common surgical approaches to unlock the mysteries of the womb and aid conception.
The reports of the womb transplants are just the latest innovation. And I eagerly look for the next advancement in female infertility to help my patients.
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