Womb Transplant to Occur Later This Year

Doctors in the United States are hoping to perform the very first womb transplant from a deceased donor later this year. Already, the screening process has begun for the first woman recipient.

"The desire to have a child is a tremendous driving force for many women. We think we could help many women fulfill this very basic desire." Dr. Del Priore.

Doctors feel as if they are ready to begint the womb transplant process, believinig the surgery could potentially benefitthousands of women that had to have their womb surgically removed for health reasons or that were simply born without one.

The concept of a womb transplant isn't entirely new. In fact, a 26-year-old woman in Saudi Arabia has a womb transplant in 2000. Unfortunately, she suffered from complications and had to have the womb removed only 99 days after the surgery. In addition, the donor womb came from a 46-year-old living woman that agreed to have her womb removed while going through surgery for the removal of ovarian cysts.

The plan to use the womb of a deceased owner is entirely new and is not without complications. The woman receiving the womb will need to wait at least three months before undergoing an embryo transfer or in vitro fertilisation. Once the baby is born, which must be through Caesarean section, the womb also needs to ber removed. During the entire period the womb is in the woman's body, she would need to take anti-rejection drugs in order to prevent her body from rejecting the womb.

To date, womb transplants have been successfully completed on sheep, mice, macaque monkeys, and dogs. Nonetheless, there is controversy as to whether or not doctors are truly ready to try the surgery on a human. According to Thoams Murray from the Hastings Centre bioethics think tank, "This raises a set of very difficult medical and ethical questions. I think it's very questionable. This would be very hard to justify."

Is it hard to justify following through with a womb transplant? Or, should women be able to make the decision for themselves whether or not they should take the risks involved? If it is a woman's choice to end a pregnancy, should she also have the choice to undergo a womb transplant in order to become pregnant? Is science pushing it too far, or is this a step in the right direction for helping those who want to have children?

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