AirTalk for January 13, 2014

Swedish doctor transplants wombs into nine women

FRANCE-HEALTH-HOSPITAL

JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

A surgeon wears a binocular loupe during an open-heart surgery in a cardiac surgery unit at the Angers hospital in Angers, western France, on October 24, 2013. The Angers hospital employs 6,000 people including 980 doctors.

Many women look forward to becoming a mother. Infertility can be a huge roadblock for some on the road to parenthood.  Infertility treatments, such as In Vitro Fertilization have been around for years. But are there any options for women without a uterus?

A report from the Associated Press says, doctors in Sweden are pioneering a new surgery for womb transplants.Already, nine women have successfully received transplanted wombs. Most of the women are in their 30s and were either born without a uterus or had it removed due to cervical cancer. The women received transplanted wombs donated from relatives. Although the women have received wombs, researchers are still waiting to see if the transplanted wombs will result in successful pregnancies.

This is not the first time womb transplants have been attempted.  Doctors in both Turkey and Saudi Arabia performed womb transplant surgeries but neither was successful in producing babies.  Similar operations are being planned by scientists in Britain and Hungary.

Life-saving transplants of vital organs have been around for years, is this a natural progression or have scientists gone to far? Is it ethical to use live donors?

Dr. Richard Paulson, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the USC Keck School of Medicine, and Director of USC Fertility, a non-profit fertility practice at USC

 


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