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Swedish docs set for mother-daughter womb transplant

AFP/The Local · 14 Jun 2011, 14:37

Published: 13 Jun 2011 16:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Jun 2011 14:37 GMT+02:00

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Surgeons are confident of success in what will be a groundbreaking operation on 25-year-old Sara Ottoson.

The woman, who lives and works in Stockholm was born without a uterus, as a result of the rare condition Mayer Rokitanksy Kuster Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, reports UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Ottoson is hoping to have her own eggs fertilised using her boyfriend's sperm and then implanted into the womb she herself was carried in.

The woman’s mother, 56-year-old Eva Ottoson has agreed to become the first woman in the world to have her womb transplanted into her daughter.

"My daughter and I are both very rational people and we both think it's just a womb. She needs the womb and if I'm the best donor for her, well, go on. She needs it more than me. I've had two daughters so it's served me well," she told the newspaper.

Professor Mats Brännström of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska University Hospital is set to lead the procedure, which he said is much more complex than transplanting a kidney, liver or heart.

"We have reached a stage where we have started to plan for a human transplant and we are investigating 10 pairs, most of those are mother and daughters," he told AFP, adding the first of such transplants could take place "hopefully at the beginning of next year."

He added that transplanting a womb from a woman to her daughter would be a world first, although a uterus transplant between two unrelated women took place in Saudi Arabia in 2002.

His international team of doctors at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital has been researching the subject for a decade and has tested it on animals, he said, explaining there were no particular complications in transplanting a womb from mother to daughter.

"There can just be an advantage because they are more similar in their tissues so there could be less rejection in that situation," he said.

One of the pairs undergoing the physical and psychological tests required ahead of a possible procedure were quoted in Swedish media Tuesday as saying they were grateful to be part of the project.

"I have been given an opportunity I did not think was possible," Sara Ottosson told Swedish tabloid Expressen.

"I have always loved children. Over the past five years I have felt intense sorrow over not being able to have children of my own," she told its competitor Aftonbladet.

Ottoson could receive a uterus from her mother, who said she no longer had any use for the organ and that it felt natural to do everything she could to help her daughter.

"I think all parents do what they can to help their children if it feels right," Eva Ottosson told Aftonbladet.

The daughter insisted receiving the womb she herself emerged from was not a cause for concern.

"It's an organ just like any other and it has no genetic significance. I work as a biology teacher and I don't think its strange," she told Expressen.

The world's first uterus transplant took place in 2002 when doctors in Saudi Arabia transplanted the womb of a 46-year-old woman to a 26-year-old.

Although blood clots forced the doctors to remove the transplanted organ after 14 weeks, they claimed technical success in the procedure.

Brännström said such complications would be less likely in the Swedish transplants.

Story continues below…

"We have optimised the technique in our animal models for such a long time. The Saudi Arabia team didn't have any experience at all in animal models before. They did it in humans right away," he explained.

In 2007, scientists planned the first uterus transplant in the United States, but the procedure never went beyond the screening stage.

"The research front has moved forward since 2007 and especially our group has taken big steps forward in this research, so that's why we think we are ready to do this," Brännström said.

Last year researchers at Sahlgrenska led by Brännström successfully transplanted a womb from one rat to another. Several rats were involved in the trials and were later able to become pregnant.

There will be no lack of attention to the Ottoson's operation, which could take place next spring if all goes to plan.

MRKH affects around one in 1,500 women and researchers estimate that there could be up to 10,000 women in Scandinavia alone who could stand to benefit from such transplants.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 June 13, 2011 by EP
What the hell is a "dauther"? Some proof-reading, especially to a headline would help ...
17:56 June 13, 2011 by Stickeroo
What is this "proof reading" you speak of???
18:20 June 13, 2011 by JulieLou40
I believe that chimps "write" these articles, so proof-reading would be a great idea. Unfortunately, TL doesn't have good ideas...
18:20 June 13, 2011 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
Men next. I'd go first but I'm washing my hair.
18:44 June 13, 2011 by byke
Check it out ... They were able to Squeeze the word Swedish straight into the title again. I wonder if this is because this is a "positive" story and they want the association of such.

Whereas the SEX Chamber dude didnt get recognition of being swedish ?

Shame on you Local .....
19:33 June 13, 2011 by Plowbridge
We should all embrace TL. It is not often that one gets to associate with something as bad as what we have here. They should rename it though.

I suggest something like "The Illiterati, Sweden's News In Pidgin English"
22:01 June 13, 2011 by Eva117
Goodluck mother and daughter!
09:57 June 14, 2011 by Guests
more of this? --- ''successfully transplanted a womb from one rat to another. Several rats were involved in the trials and were later able to become pregnant.''
23:16 June 14, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
Pregnant women's pictures are not flattering at ALL!!
22:11 June 20, 2011 by Eva Braun Author
It might be of interest that Eva Braun also

suffered from MRKH syndrome, as I am sure a

lot of other prominent women did and do.

More on Eva Braun can be found in my new

biography "The Untold Story of Eva Braun:

Her Life beyond Hitler." Thomas Lundmark
06:01 June 21, 2011 by Da Goat
Great we are helping Evolution along now? I thought it was dead but we are resuscitating the dogma.

Does this mean she can now pass MRKH along to her children thru her genes?
22:20 July 10, 2011 by ANON88
MRKH is not a genetic disease. Get your facts right before you comment on something you clearly know nothing about. People with MRKH are usually a lot healthier all round than other people that pro-create. Uneducated people who have no idea what it feels like not to be able to have children should keep their ignorant ideas to themselves.
13:10 April 19, 2013 by wilmagonzalez
I am totally agree that MRKH is not a genetic disease. It is also applied on rats successfully. One more thing I want to discuss about hårtransplantation (hair transplant). Is hair transplant surgery successful? And also advice me how to control my håravfall (hair loss). Really I am worried about this. Thanks in advance.
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