IVF for womb transplant woman gives hope to British women

 

British women born without a womb will be given fresh hope this year when scientists attempt to help the woman who had the world's first successful womb transplant to conceive a baby.

Just over a year ago Turkish scientists successfully transplanted the organ and are hoping to start IVF treatment in April or May.

If the breakthrough treatment succeeds, British researchers planning to replicate the same results will become a step closer to achieving their goal.

A successful pregnancy helped along by the pioneering Turkish team will help the London-based doctors get approval from ethics committees to conduct the innovative procedure.

Medics in Sweden have also performed four uterus transplants, including the first ever mother-to-daughter womb transplant.

Richard Smith, a consultant gynaecological surgeon, said the British team hopes to conduct the first operation in the UK before the end of 2014.

"The Turkish team transplanted a woman just over a year ago and intend to do an embryo transfer in April/May time," said Mr Smith who helped set up a charity to raise money to enable the first five operations in the UK.

"The Swedes have done four transplants in the last two or three months and all of their live donors are well and the recipients are well and are doing as one would expect.

"They are waiting for a year before they do any embryo transfers."

Earlier this year, his team achieved a successful pregnancy in a rabbit with a transplanted uterus, though the animal went on to miscarry.

He said that before the medics can approach local ethics committees they need to produce data concerning a pregnancy in a woman who has already undergone the procedure and results from animal models.

While the science-side of the project is coming on in leaps and bounds, the monetary aspect is not coming along so well.

The charity, Uterine Transplantation UK, needs to raise funds to complete the preparatory work, conduct the transplants and pay for the other associated costs such as immunosuppressant therapy for the women while the uteruses are in their bodies.

Medics hope the transplants could help women have a child - or even two - before the donated womb is then removed. This means the recipient would only have to take immunosuppressant drugs, which make their bodies accept the transplant, for a limited period.

So far, the charity has raised £30,000 but a further £470,000 is needed, Mr Smith said.

Womb transplants offer an alternative to surrogacy or adoption for women whose own wombs have been damaged by diseases such as cervical cancer.

Every year 14,000 British women discover they are infertile because either they were born without a viable womb or they have undergone a hysterectomy following a serious illness.

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea