In September 2014, a Swedish woman who was born without a uterus gave birth to a child after having undergone a uterus transplant one year earlier. Carried out by the team led by Professor Mats Brannstrom, specialising in obstetric gynaecology at the University of Gothenburg, the technique represents “a major breakthrough in the fight against infertility” and a means of “avoiding recourse to surrogacy“.
In fact, the young woman was given the uterus “of a 61 year-old family friend who started the menopause seven years before surgery“. The procedure itself took almost ten hours. The young woman then had to take three types of medication – immunosuppressants – in order to stop her body rejecting the new uterus. Six weeks after the transplantation, the young woman had her first period and twelve months later, the doctors implanted two embryos in the new uterus – both of which were created from the mother’s ovules and the father’s sperm.
As far as the specialists are concerned, the absence of a uterus “was the only type of female infertility deemed to be beyond therapeutic measures up to this point“. Two other transplants were attempted but did not result in any births: the first was carried out in 2000, in Saudi Arabia. The uterus had to be removed following an infection. The second uterus transplant was carried out in Turkey in 2011 but the young woman miscarried during the sixth week of pregnancy.