Fertility doctors don’t give standing ovations very often. But when a team of Swedish doctors announced at a recent conference the first-ever birth of a baby to a woman who had a womb transplant, it nearly blew the doors off the room.
“I haven’t seen this kind of reaction to a report in all the years that I’ve been in this field,” says Karine Chung, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “It required a huge amount of hard work and dedication to get to the point where you can transplant a uterus into someone born without one and achieve a live baby.”
Only nine women to date have undergone womb transplants, with three live births so far and “some ongoing pregnancies,” says Mats Brännström, MD, the doctor leading the trial at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg. And ultimately, even when the procedure is more advanced, it will be useful only for a small group of women, mainly those born without a uterus. That happens to only about 1 in every 5,000 U.S. women.
by Gina Shaw, Brunilda Nazario, MD at Medscape