Researchers in Sweden have now conducted the first uterine transplants to result in live births. Admittedly they were in mice, but the results are positive. This research followed on from the successful transplant of a uterus into a woman in Saudi Arabia, the results of which were published earlier in the year. As with any pioneering treatment of this nature, there are a number of issues to contend with, not least the ethical questions that will inevitably arise.
The transplant was created from a portion of a uterus that was transplanted alongside that of an existing uterus in to a mouse. Within several days it was possible to see that the blood flow to both uterus and implant were similar. Three fertilised embryos were then transplanted into each uterus. One in the donor uterus and all three in the existing uterus developed into healthy fetuses. The pregnancy was then terminated after 13 days for ethical reasons. Since this original research has been carried out a number of similar procedures have been undertaken which have resulted in live births.
(J Endocrinol; 2002; August; 174(2); pp 157-66)