A rare condition gripping 1 out of 5,000 people in the world has compelled a mother to have her own womb transplanted to her daughter.
People born with this condition, called the Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser (MRKH), have missing reproductive organs. Stockholm resident Sara Ottoson, 25, diagnosed with MRKH, has no uterus and has parts of her vagina missing. She only realized that she was missing her reproductive organs when during adolescence she never had her menstruation.
Sara’s mother, 56-year-old Eva, has agreed to give her womb to her daughter so that she may be able to have kids. Says Eva, “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.”
The procedure was actually already performed in Saudi Arabia back in 2000, on a woman who had lost her uterus due to hemorrhage. She got a new uterus from a 46-year-old woman but it failed to function and had to be removed 99 days later after causing complications.
The historic procedure is to take place in Sweden next spring. The difficulty in the procedure lies in preventing the incidence of hemorrhage and ensuring that there are long enough blood vessels to connect to the recipient’s womb. Additionally, it’s harder for surgeons to work down in the pelvis area because of its funnel-like shape, versus, say, if they were doing an operation on a kidney, which would be more accessible.
If successful, though, Sarah plans having her eggs fertilized with her boyfriend’s sperm, to be planted in her womb.
Says Sarah, “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.”
Doctors are hoping that by the mother and daughter’s example, people with MRKH will become more vocal about their condition.
Source: • June 13, 2011. Mark Patterson and Martin Evans. “World’s first womb transplant planned’ Telegraph.co.uk