UK’s first womb transplant carried out in Oxford

Surgeons in the Southern city have performed a life-changing surgery to help a 34-year-old woman bear a child.

Yesterday it was reported that health professionals in Oxford were the first in the UK to perform a successful womb transplant. Both women involved in the procedure wish to remain anonymous, but it has become known that they are sisters.

fetus, embryo, pregnancy

The younger sister, who is 34 years old, was born with a rare condition known as Type 1 Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH), which is where the uterus is absent or underdeveloped, but has functioning ovaries.

Prior to receiving the surgery, the woman, and her husband retrieved eight eggs from her ovaries and put them in storage. Now that the surgery has been complete, these eggs will now be able to be inserted in the woman’s womb and hopefully result in a pregnancy.

Before beginning the transplant process the two sisters – of which the older one is 40 years old and claimed she has completed her family – received therapy and their case was reviewed and approved by the Human Tissue Authority. The NHS costs, estimated at £25,000, were paid for by the charity Womb Transplant UK.

In addition to receiving such kind gestures from organisations, more than 30 staff involved in the procedure gave up their time for free, displaying what a momentous occasion this was for the health sector and the two women involved.

Professor Smith, chairman of Womb Transplant UK, told the BBC: ‘The shocking truth is that there are currently more than 15,000 women of a child-bearing age in this country who have Absolute Uterine Factor Infertility. They were either born without a womb or have had a hysterectomy due to cancer or other abnormalities of the womb.’

Although this surgery is the first time it has happened in the UK, in 2014 a woman in Sweden received it for the very first time. Since then 100 womb transplants have taken place across the globe and around 50 babies have been born.

Surgeons in the UK were given permission to begin performing womb transplants in 2015, but have only just managed to get round to it as a result of delays caused by the pandemic.

Image: Weslleycs97

More on this topic:

New drug to assist with traumatic childbirth could be made accessible for all 

Risk of premature birth higher among mothers with poor mental health – study


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