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Woman 'over the moon' after receiving her sister’s womb in UK first

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Woman 'over the moon' after receiving her sister’s womb in UK first

Featured Image Credit: Womb Transplant UK

A woman is ‘over the moon’ after receiving her sister’s womb via transplant in a UK first.

The 34-year-old woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, underwent the lengthy surgery at the Churchill Hospital, part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, back in February - with her incredible story now being told in a scientific paper published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The patient was given the womb of her 40-year-old sister, who had completed her family after having two children.

Doctors say both recovered well from the surgery and that the younger sister plans to begin IVF this autumn using her and her husband’s embryos currently being stored.

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Isabel Quiroga, Joint Team Leader and Consultant Transplant Surgeon, said the patient was ‘incredibly happy’ following the two overlapping operations that took 17 hours.

It took the work of eight surgeons, plus anaesthetists, theatre nurses and technicians. Credit: Womb Transplant UK
It took the work of eight surgeons, plus anaesthetists, theatre nurses and technicians. Credit: Womb Transplant UK

“She was absolutely over the moon, very happy and is hoping that she can go in to have not one but two babies!” Quiroga said.

“Her womb is functioning perfectly and we are monitoring her progress very closely. As a team we are incredibly proud to contribute to this programme and hoping that it will lead to many other women benefiting from this procedure.”

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The woman was unable to have children after being born without a functioning womb – a condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH).

According to Womb Transplant UK, one in 5,000 females are born in the UK with the same rare congenital disorder, with many more losing their wombs as a result of cancer or conditions like endometriosis.

The charity added that more than 15,000 women of childbearing age in the UK are also unable to bear their own children.

The woman’s operations were led by Quiroga and Consultant Gynaecological Surgeon Professor Richard Smith from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, who headed up a team of more than 30 clinicians.

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Quiroga and Smith. Credit: Womb Transplant UK
Quiroga and Smith. Credit: Womb Transplant UK

Smith, who is also chairman of Womb Transplant UK, said the team was delighted with the progress of the patients.

“We all have huge respect for these two women who have helped so many others in this country who face the trauma of absolute uterine fertility infertility,” he said.

“We hope all goes well and that the recipient will become pregnant in due course. We also hope that we can raise the rest of the funds we need to complete our two programmes of transplants. Our aim is to see womb transplants become a sustainable option for women suffering with the same condition.”

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Smith added: “Our team is dedicated to creating a long term and sustainable transplant programme that will help women who are currently unable to bear their own children to realise their dream!”

Topics: Health, UK News, Pregnancy, Parenting, NHS, Science

Jess Hardiman
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