New research has revealed that the first womb transplant could take place in two year’s time.
London-based doctors and vets have performed the first long-term transplants on a uterus in rabbits. If trials on larger animals are also successful, womb transplants on humans could begin in the not-too-distant future.
Women with a transplanted uterus would have to undergo IVF to achieve pregnancy and give birth by caesarean section to avoid any complications. A successful transplant would also be temporary, to avoid rejection of the womb, but a woman may be given two to three years to conceive and carry babies before it’s removed.
Surgeons in New York have already got permission to carry out a human trial, after demonstrating that a uterus from a donor can be preserved long enough to perform surgery.
But Tony Rutherford, chairman of the British Fertility Society, warned there was “a big difference between demonstrating effectiveness in a rabbit and being able to do this in a human.”