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Swedish technique helps US score first womb transplant

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This Swedish baby was the first in the world to be born after a womb transplant in 2014. Photo: Ben Jary/AP
08:24 CET+01:00
The surgeons used a method pioneered in Sweden, which they hope will allow a 26-year-old to have America's first uterus transplant baby.

The surgeons in Cleveland used a method pioneered in Sweden, which they hope will allow a 26-year-old to have America's first uterus transplant baby.

US doctors kept the procedure under wraps when it took place on February 24th, but they announced late on Thursday that the woman was in a stable condition after the operation.

The transplanted uterus came from a deceased donor, the hospital in Cleveland, Ohio confirmed.

The surgery is the first of its kind in America and follows a similar groundbreaking transplant in Sweden. In September 2014, Malin Stenberg, 36, became the first person on the planet to give birth after receiving a new uterus, an event described as a breakthrough for infertile women. She used a uterus donated by the 61-year-old best friend of her partner Claes Nilsson's mother.

More details about the surgery in the USA are expected during a press conference with the medical team to be scheduled next week.

Late last year, Cleveland Clinic began enlisting candidates for uterine transplants as part of a clinical trial that aimed to offer the procedure to 10 women.

Women potentially eligible to receive a uterine transplant include those who suffer from an irreversible condition known as Uterine Factor Infertility (UFI), which affects between three and five percent of women worldwide, the hospital said.

The first live birth via a transplanted uterus in Sweden was led by experts from the University of Gothenburg and followed ten years of intensive research and a number of failed efforts both in the Nordic country and in similar programmes in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

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Speaking a year after their baby, Vincent, was born, the parents of the young Swede told Nordic newspaper Dagens Industri that they remained overwhelmed that they had finally been able to have a child, after years of trying.

“How could anyone do this for us? A 'thank you' is not enough,” Nilsson said.

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