Indian woman donates uterus to 21-year-old daughter

The procedure has only been performed successfully five times

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The Independent Online

A woman in India has successfully donated her womb to her daughter after undergoing the first uterine transplant surgery in the country.

After discovering that her 21-year-old daughter had been born without a uterus, the 43-year-old volunteered to have hers surgically removed and implanted. 

The procedure has only been performed successful five times, all by a single team in Sweden.

The latest attempted was performed by Dr Shailesh Puntambekar and his team at Galaxy Care Hospital in Pune, India. He told CNN that the procedure took nine hours, but that both patients are “fine”.

"We are responsible for the patient and fulfilling their dreams of becoming a mother, which was impossible for them until now," he said.

Approximately one in every 5,000 women are born without a uterus, a condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. Without a transplant, they would be unable to bear children on their own.

Other women may be eligible for the surgery if they have had a hysterectomy, or if their wombs have been damaged by injury or infection. Uterine infertility is estimated to affect 1.5 million women globally.

The procedure starts by removing the eggs from the uterus recipients, which are then fertilised, and frozen.

After the surgery is completed, and the patient has been given time to heal, the fertilised eggs are implanted in their uterus via a process known as invitro fertilisation. Recipients of uterus transplants are unable to become pregnant through intercourse.

Six healthy babies have been born from five recipients of uterus transplants. Several countries, including the US, Germany,  Saudi Arabia and Turkey have attempted uterus transplants in the past.

But until Dr Puntambekar and his team's success, only the Swedish team had been successful.

They prepared for the surgery for a year, practising on cadavers in Germany and the United States.