In Sweden a donor uterus transplantation experiment was conducted in which nine patients voluntarily participated with congenital absence or pathology of the uterus, or who lost it as a result of the development of neoplastic diseases (for example, cervical cancer).
The purpose of the experiment was to study the ability of women with donor uterus, obtained from the currently living members of their families (mothers or next of kin), to have children.
“This is a completely new kind of operation,” says Dr. Mats Brännström. “On this occasion, there is yet no practical experience described or any educational tools.”
Transplantation does not provide a link between the uterus and the fallopian tubes, so women cannot become pregnant in a natural way. But since the ovaries of all potential mothers function normally, it is possible to get eggs from them. Doctors fertilized them with IVF technology and frozen embryos. A few months after surgery, scientists will "wake up" them and transplant them into the uterus of patients. Thus, women deprived of a uterus can have own biological children.
The main objective of this pilot project is to give birth to healthy children among recipients. However, donor organs will be removed after one or two pregnancies, as women must constantly take drugs that prevent rejection of the uterus. This can cause serious side effects, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
As a result of such experiments in the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg, eight full-fledged children were born to date. The first operation on transplantation of a donor uterus with the help of a robot has already been performed.
New operations have caused a wave of ethical disputes. For example, some UK experts believe that the risk for donors is too great and such a procedure threatens the life of a woman who donated the womb to her relative.
Of course, the success of Swedish scientists and doctors is amazing. But despite the results of serious research and experiments achieved in this area, the main question is still unanswered - what risks for the fetus and for the mother are acceptable to continue the pregnancy. Since the risk ratio is very high, a natural question arises: is it not easier to use the service of a surrogate mother, who renders and gives birth to a child for another woman?
Where surrogacy is illegal, the answer is obvious. It is not occasional that the first attempts at uterus transplantation were carried out in Muslim countries. In this case, it is hardly possible to speak seriously about scientific and experimental culture. Here we are simply dealing with the most powerful traditions, which are most often based on imposed conventions and which do not allow surrogate motherhood and adoption, because it is prescribed for a woman not only to become a mother, but to go through all the physical tests associated with it.
Where surrogate motherhood is legal or permissible, a woman deprived of the opportunity to independently bear and give birth to a child will most likely prefer a less risky and more understandable way to reproduce progeny with the help of surrogates.
In addition, the issue of price in the case of a donor uterus transplant is also extremely important. Since the uterus transplantation is not offered to the general public (and is unlikely to be offered in the near future), one can only guess about the cost of such a procedure, given that insurance against it at all risks is unlikely to be covered.
As a result, uncontrollable deep-soul emotions associated with a particular stage of motherhood can be a decisive factor in the issue of transplantation. But that's another topic. The choice in any case remains for potential parents.
However, the UK Charity Womb Transplant has announced the launch of a fundraising campaign to help British doctors perform similar surgeries using queen bees from dead or dying donors.
The two transplants performed in Turkey and Saudi Arabia did not produce the expected results. The uterus transplanted in both cases is completely accustomed and functions normally. An obvious sign of the health of a transplanted organ is the presence of menstruation in some women. One of the Turkish patients was able to get pregnant, but the pregnancy was interrupted after two months.
In Hungary as well doctors are also actively working on similar and new methods of dealing with infertility.
Based on SAHLGRENSKA AKADEMIN