This is a ground-breaking form of treatment that could offer hope to thousands of childless women. These women are unable to have children because their wombs are damaged or have been removed due to illness or disease. And in a few rare cases they have been born without a womb.
There has been no successful womb transplant to date although doctors in the UK are very close to actually doing so. A womb transplant was carried out back in 2000 but unfortunately, it had to be removed only a few months after surgery because of a blood supply failure.
And the blood supply to the womb is one of the most complex aspects of this surgery. A regular blood supply is required to the womb to enable the foetus to develop.
So who would be suitable for this exciting new development?
If you have had your womb removed as a result of cancer or your womb has become damaged due to fibroids then this could enable you to achieve pregnancy. It would also offer hope to childless couples who don’t want to go down the surrogacy or adoption routes.
Progress so far
Doctors in the UK have carried out a series of successful transplants on animals and are, they claim, a step closer to performing a womb transplant on a human female.
It’s a case of watch this space at this time.
Whatever the outcome of this, it has triggered a huge ethical debate with arguments raging about whether fertility treatment has gone ‘too far’. And there are plenty of people who are opposed to this being tested on animals before any human trials take place.
Opponents of this see this as an unnecessary procedure for what is a non-life threatening condition. They argue that whilst not being able to conceive is distressing it isn’t a threat to life and limb as compared to the thousands of diseases that are harmful to human beings. And that research (and funding) should be targeting those areas.
They also claim that society shouldn’t place a value on a woman based upon her ability to conceive or make her feel as if she is less of a woman if she is unable to have a baby.
However, supporters of this procedure argue that this is very important for those women through no fault of their own are unable to conceive.
It is worth bearing in mind that IVF faced similar opposition when it was first developed back in the late 70’s. Many people then were uncomfortable with the idea of a baby being produced in a laboratory (or test tube according to popular press) whereas it has now become widely acceptable.
Attitudes do change over time towards innovative yet controversial forms of treatment. If this procedure ever becomes a reality then it will, hopefully, undergo the same change.
Infertility treatment Guide Index:
- Infertility treatment - Intro
- Assisted Hatching
- Clomid Therapy
- Donor Insemination
- Embryo Freezing
- Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT)
- Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Insemination (ICSI)
- Intratubal Insemination (ITI)
- In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
- Kisspeptin Hormone
- Ovary Transplants
- Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
- Tubal Embryo Transfer (TET)
- Womb Transplants
- Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
- After infertility treatment
- Infertility Guide
- what is infertility?
- infertility myths
- infertility facts
- female infertility
- medical conditions
- emotional aspects of infertility
- donor insemination
- infertility and your general practitioner
- fertility success rates
- fertility treatment abroad
- infertility tests
- infertility treatment
- infertility faqs
- the cost of infertility tests and treatment
- ivf (in vitro fertilisation) and gift (gamete intra fallopian transfer)
- finding a fertility clinic
- male infertility
- pregnancy tests
- Fertility Extension