Nine women have received uterus transplants from close family members, and hopes are high that they may become pregnant through IVF treatments.
The experimental trials conducted by Dr. Mats Brannstrom, of the University of Gothenberg, is part of a fertility project similar to other trials being conducted in Britain and other countries. The Swedish project is by far the most advanced, with two previous attempts in Turkey and Saudi Arabia failing to produce babies.
The fallopian tubes of these women have not been connected to their wombs, so they will be unable to conceive naturally. The women still retain their ovaries and ability to produce eggs, which can be used for in vitro fertilization.
There were initially ten women but one had to opt out of the trial for medical reasons. Most of the women were in their 30s and received the womb from their mothers or other female relatives.
The transplant was conducted using donors who were healthy and living, for the first time. British doctors, in their efforts, are using organs only from dead or dying donors. As the hysterectomy requires taking much of the blood tissue surrounding the uterus, it can be dangerous for the donor -- too dangerous for a donation that isn't considered life-saving.
The results of the Swedish transplants now hinge on whether the nine women can become pregnant through IVF treatments. Even if they do, doctors say each transplanted uterus has a two pregnancy limit.