Organ transplants gone wild? Would your mom go this far to help you have a baby?
UK’s The Telegraph newspaper reports that a 56-year-old mother in London is making plans to have her own womb transplanted into her daughter in hopes that this will make her infertile daughter’s dreams of pregnancy and having a baby finally come true.
Eva Ottosson thinks the complex transplant operation could take place as early as next spring in Sweden, where doctors have been searching for suitable patients (a mom and daughter) to take part in the revolutionary procedure. Her daughter, 25-year-old Sara, already lives in Sweden, and Ottosson plans to join her there for the operation.
“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,” Ottosson tells the The Telegraph.
Beating the Odds
Sara was born with a very rare condition called Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which affects around one in 5,000 people, and means she was born without a uterus and some parts of the vagina.
If the transplant procedure works, Sara will have her own eggs fertilized using her boyfriend’s sperm—these will then be implanted into her donated womb via in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Sara tells reporters that she was not at all concerned about the implications of receiving the same uterus in which she herself developed in back in the mid-1980s.
“I haven’t really thought about that. I’m a biology teacher and it’s just an organ like any other organ. But my mum did ask me about this. She said ‘isn’t it weird?’ And my answer is no. I’m more worried that my mum is going to have a big operation”
So why go through with the surgery? As Sara tells the The Telegraph, “It would mean the world to me for this to work and to have children. At the moment I am trying not to get my hopes up so that I am not disappointed. But we have also been thinking about adoption for a long time and if the transplant fails then we will try to adopt.”
The operation as been tried only once before when a 26-year-old woman in Saudi Arabia received a donated womb from a 46-year-old non-relative. The recipient developed problems and the womb had to be removed after 99 days. Researchers feel confident that a mother-daughter transplant will boost the chances for the recipient’s body to accept the new organ.