4 Women With Womb Transplants Get Embryos

Swedish medical team moves ahead in controversial project
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2014 2:45 PM CST
4 Women With Womb Transplants Get Embryos
From left specialist surgeons Andreas G Tzakis, Pernilla Dahm-Kohler, Mats Brannstrom, Michael Olausson and Liza Johannesson attend a news conference Tuesday Sept. 18, 2012, in Goteborg, Sweden.   (AP Photo/Adam Ihse)

Swedish doctors are advancing in their quest to implant embryos in women who have received pioneering womb implants, the Guardian reports. A medical team in Gothenburg has successfully transferred embryos to four of nine women with implants, a major advance after transferring just one embryo in January. Mats Brannstrom, who leads the team, wouldn't say if any of the women are pregnant, and a study by the group said four women experienced "mild rejection episodes"; in fact, two had their uterus removed due to complications.

"One or two more will perhaps get pregnant and miscarry, and one or two won't be able to get pregnant," said Brannstrom, the AP reports. Other doctors say the women must be carefully watched to see how well a transplanted uterus functions. "It is a good sign they have done the transfers," said a doctor. "But a live birth will be the best validation that this works." Controversy has surrounded the Swedish project because it accepted wombs from live women who are friends or family of the patients, creating possible health risks for the donors. Two other womb transplant attempts, in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, failed to produce a child; only the Turkish donation was from a dead donor. (More womb transplant stories.)

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