A Chinese woman born without a uterus is finally able to try for babies after her mother donated her womb to her during a cutting-edge medical procedure, according to Chinese media.
The 29-year-old woman, from southern China’s Guangdong Province, stated.it was her dream to have her own children and she felt sad that she wasn’t blessed with the ability to have them.
Now recovering from her uterus transplant, the woman stated.at a press conference: ‘I thank my mother. I thank the doctors. It’s their combined effort to allow me to pursue my dream of being a mother.’
Liang Juan (left), 29, is pictured at a press conference two months after undergoing a uterus transplant. She was given the womb by her mother, 51, so she could try to have babies
The 15-hour operation was carried out by 20 surgeons at Xijing Hospital in Xi’an (pictured)
The young woman, known by a pseudonym Liang Juan, and her mother underwent the 15-hour surgery on December 23 at the Xijing Hospital in Xi’an, reported Huashang Daily.
The operation was carried out by 20 surgeons from 10 departments and was assisted by a robot, according to the report.
The surgeons used the robot to remove the womb from Ms Liang’s mother and then transplanted it on to Ms Liang.
Ms Liang suffered from absolute uterine factor infertility, a medical condition which means a woman’s uterus is non-functioning or absent.
As stated by China’s military news site, 81.cn, between 30,000 and 40,000 baby girls are born every year in the nation whose uterus or vagina is missing.
Liang Juan is reported to be the second woman in China who has had a successful uterus transplant.
The first woman, Yang Hua, was helped by the doctors from the same hospital in Xi’an in November, 2015. Ms Yang, aged 22 at the time, also received the womb from her mother, who is 19 years older than her.
Uterus transplants have helped women born without a womb realise achieve motherhood
Ms Liang told reporters that because she was born without a womb, she had always felt ashamed about herself.
Apparently, she decided to go to Xi’an to see doctors together with her mum after hearing about the first successful uterus transplant.
Dr Chen Biliang, the head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, told local media that Ms Liang’s case was much more complicated compared to their first operation.
Because Ms Liang’s mother had gone through the menopause, so her blood vessels were stiffened, Dr Chen explained to Kan Kan News.
He added: ‘The complexity of a uterus transplant is how to remove the uterus while making sure the blood vessels are as complete as possible. Once stitched (onto the patient), the blood vessels need to run smoothly.’
Speaking to Kan Kan News, an emotional Ms Liang said: ‘It has been a difficult and demanding process, but I succeeded.’
As stated by the hospital, Ms Liang is recovering well. Once she is fully recovered, doctors will give her IVF treatment to help her get pregnant.
Traditionally, women suffering from absolute uterine factor infertility would resort to adopting or fostering children under the assumption that they could never be impregnated.
With the development of medical technology, some of them have started participating in uterus transplant trials. However, the procedure remains to be risky.
Only Sweden and the U.S. have announced successful cases, in addition to the two reported operations from China.
Swedish woman Malin Stenberg is the world’s first patient to have successfully given birth to a baby after a uterus transplant. Ms Stenberg received the organ from a family friend in her 60s and gave birth to her son Vincent at the age of 36 in 2014.
Emelie Eriksson, also from Sweden, is the world’s first uterus transplant patient to have given birth using the womb donated by her mother. Ms Eriksson delivered her son Albin at the age of 28 in 2014.
The first U.S. baby from a uterus transplant was born in Dallas at Baylor University Medical Center last December. The baby’s mother was given a womb by a 36-year-old nurse who have two children.
The gift of life: How is a womb transplant performed?
Uterus transplants could help women with an absent womb to get pregnant (file photo)
The first step involves doctors removing some of the patients’ eggs in order to fertilize them in a dish to create embryos.
These are then frozen, until they are needed.
Secondly, a womb, complete with two major arteries and four veins, removed from a from donor in a three-hour operation.
The donated womb is then implanted into the patient during an operation that typically takes around six hours.
The woman is then, as all organ transplant patients are, prescribed powerful immune-suppressing drugs to stop the transplanted womb being rejected by the body.
Around a year later, when doctors are confident the transplant is a success, one of the embryos is thawed and implanted into the donated womb.
If the pregnancy is a success, doctors ultimately deliver the baby via C-section.
Once a woman has successfully carried one or two babies, the transplanted organ is then removed.