Doctors have been granted approval to carry out the UK’s first 10 womb transplants…reports Asian Lite news
Around one in 7,000 women are born without a womb, while others lose their womb to cancer. If the trial is successful, the first UK baby could arrive in early 2018. More than 100 women have already been identified as potential recipients of donor wombs, BBC adds.
Dr Richard Smith, a consultant gynaecologist at the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital in London who has been working on the project for 19 years, will lead the transplant team.
He said childlessness could be a “disaster” for couples, but the technique would offer hope to those whose only other option is surrogacy or adoption, says BBC .
Dr Smith told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Over the years I have quite a lot of crisis with this project… but when you meet the women who have been born without a uterus, or who have had their uterus removed for one reason or another, this is really heart-rending stuff and that is what has kept us going.
According to his team at Womb Transplant UK, each procedure costs up to £50,000 to perform, but women will not have to pay for this themselves.
The project has so-far been self-funded and supported by public donations which researchers say will allow them to take on two procedures for now.
The women who will be selected for the trial must all meet criteria set out by Womb Transplant UK, which include being 38 or under, having a long-term partner and being a healthy weight. They will also need to have healthy ovaries that are able to produce their own eggs.
More than 300 women have approached the team, of whom 104 meet the criteria.
Researchers plan to transplant wombs that have come from donors who are brain dead but whose hearts are still beating – unlike previous procedures in Sweden where live donors were involved.