Next year in spring time, a clinical trial will begin in the UK. BBC reports that there will be 10 womb transplants in total and the first babies from the transplanted wombs would be probably born in 2017.
The surgery has been received ethical approval this year and a couple of similar procedures were successful in Sweden. Last year in October, the first baby ever to be born from a transplanted womb was from Sweden. The baby was called Vincent and his mother was a 36 year old woman from Sweden who received the womb from a 60 year old friend. Since then, three other babies were born in the same country from donated wombs.
Why is this important news then? Well, there is a difference. According to Richard Smith, doctor at the Chelsea Hospital in London, the womb transplants in the UK will come from donors that are brain dead but their hearts are still beating. Dr. Smith will be in charge of all of the transplants, he has an experience of over 19 years with these kind of procedures.
The procedure will cost women about $60,000. The surgery usually lasts for around six hours, according to specialists. All of the patients will have to take immunosuppressants while they are carrying the womb, and after the baby is born they can remove the tissue.
More than 300 women signed up for the clinical trial of the UK womb transplant team. The team then selected 104 women who met all the criteria. Scientists needed women younger than 38, of average weight, and who were in a relationship for a long time.
According to health reports, one woman in 5,000 in the UK is born without a womb. A large number of women lose their wombs due to cancer.
Although the clinical trial has been approved, the womb transplant team still needs $600,000 in funding, but they are convinced that they will soon meet their goal with the help of donations from their sponsors.
According to Antonio Gargiulo, doctor at Boston’s Brigham Hospital, the procedure could be much more expensive in the United States. He estimated that the entire process would cost about $300,000. However, Gargiulo also added that he believes the procedure will be less popular in the US, mainly due to the high rates of artificial insemination – procedure that is still illegal in the majority of European countries.
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