By Julie Killian
Dr. Mats Brannstrom from Sweden is leading research to determine whether or not women with transplanted wombs will be able to have healthy and successful pregnancies. Since 2012, nine women have received transplanted wombs from their mothers and close relatives in order to have their own biological children. Two of those women suffered from post – transplant complications and had their wombs removed. Dr. Brannstorm predicted that only three or four of the seven women had in vitro fertilization procedure prior to transplantation. Their own eggs were used to make embryos. This kind of research has inspired doctors in Great Britain and Hungary. However, they are planning to use cadaveric womb donations instead of living donors. The removal of a womb from a living donor has been described as a ‘radical hysterectomy,’ in which a large quantity of blood vessels surrounding the womb is removed to ensure proper blood flow for the recipient. The complications of this removal are not strongly defined, making the experiment hazardous for live donors. Womb donations are not life-saving, yet some argue that those donations are not different from kidney donations. Doctors acknowledge the risks with living womb donations but this kind of transplantation will help women who were born without a womb or suffered from cervical cancer.
Dr. Brannstrom and his colleagues have concerns regarding the ability of the transplanted womb to effectively adapt to the body and function well enough to support transmission of nutrients to the baby. If the transplanted womb is not fit for thorough development of the baby, this could lead to serious problems for the born child. If transplanted wombs can render healthy children, this research development will restore the hope in creating new life.
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