London: Infertile women may soon be able to conceive with scientists bringing womb transplant closer to reality.
After successful animal trials, doctors hope to try the transplant with a human within two years.
“This is a breakthrough, fantastic news for patients who do not have a functioning uterus and want to have children,” the Daily Express quoted Dr Cesar Diaz-Garcia, a key researcher, as saying.
“Until now no one has been able to prove pregnancy is possible after transplantation. We have overcome one of the last steps in achieving this and our aim is to get a human pregnancy using these techniques within two years,” Diaz-Garcia added.
The work has raised the prospect of creating a male pregnancy with a donor uterus and fertility treatment, however Diaz-Garcia insisted: “We are not carrying out work in this area.”
The doctor, an obstetrician who has been collaborating with researchers from the University of Valencia, Spain, predicted that in the future wombs could be harvested from people who are brain dead, living donors or even relatives to minimise the risk of rejection.
The transplanted womb would be connected to the recipient’s blood supply and would stay in place only long enough for a woman to have the children she wanted.
Any baby would have to be delivered by Caesarean section as a transplanted human womb would be unlikely to withstand natural labour.
During the C-section the womb could be removed at the same time, thereby minimising the risk of side effects from longer-term use of anti-rejection drugs.
The breakthrough is to be published in the Scandanavian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.