Two women have given birth to healthy babies using wombs donated to them by their own mothers.
The Daily Mail reports the two women became the first ever to deliver children using the womb that their mothers also used to bring them into the world.
The two new mothers are among nine women who have recently received womb transplants. Seven of those transplants have been successful. Of those seven, four women have become pregnant and three have now delivered babies.
Doctors say the success rate brings hope to some 15,000 British women who would like to have children of their own but were either born without a uterus or had it removed for medical reasons.
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“That’s a very good success rate for a new surgical procedure. If it carries on like this, it may have a massive impact on things like surrogacy,” said Allan Pacey of the British Fertility Society. “Women would much prefer to have their own baby and be pregnant than watch another woman be pregnant.”
The two baby boys were born last month at a hospital in Sweden.
They join another baby boy in the history books. Vincent was the first child ever born from a transplanted uterus. That birth happened in September but the uterus came from an unrelated donor.
The significance of these new mothers using their own mother’s wombs cannot be overstated, said Liza Johannesson, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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“It is also really exciting to have your mother as a donor. It is a very nice gift to give to your daughter,” Johannesson told The Telegraph.
Doctors said there is still a good deal of research to be done before uterus transplants become routine, but they said they are impressed with how well the procedures have worked thus far.
“The numbers are still small and we probably don’t have a good handle on the true safety or how often it will be successful,” said Oxford University fertility doctor, Dagan Wells. “But from the data available, we can say that it is looking pretty good. That could raise the possibility of wider application – there are significant numbers of women in the population who would have perfect fertility if it was not for a problem with their womb.”
Wells said the complex surgery might not be the best choice for every woman without a uterus, but for those who feel strongly about experiencing the joys of pregnancy it will likely become an option.
“It is a pretty radical thing to undergo but the fact that some women have done it, even when it is in this experimental phase, really does emphasize how important it is for some women to carry their own child,” he said.