Scientists Move Closer to Womb Transplant

Successful rabbit test means human test could be 2 years away
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 1:30 PM CDT
Scientists Move Closer to Womb Transplant
In a couple years, a working womb could be within the reach of infertile women.   (Shutterstock)

British doctors have performed successful uterus transplants in rabbits, meaning they could try the procedure on a human woman in as little as two years. Researchers say they’ve solved the blood supply problems that have until now bedeviled uterus transplants; a Saudi woman tried the procedure in 2000, but had to have the uterus removed 99 days later after a blood clot. The new development raises hopes that infertile women could receive transplants from deceased donors.

Test animals have until now have died of blood problems. But two of the five rabbits in the new test lived for 10 months after the procedure, though they couldn’t conceive naturally. In the next test, researchers will try in vitro fertilization—assuming, they get the money for a next test. Funding has dried up thanks to growing skepticism in the medical community. Researchers hope to raise more money with an independent charity forming this month. (More womb stories.)

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