Science, technology, engineering…all that stuff that requires levels of math that my brain doesn’t pretend to comprehend haven’t delivered my flying car yet, but I’m happy to settle for the Internet. Frankly, I know more than some about the Web, but the mechanisms behind it all? Haven’t a clue. Heck, I worked in television for 12 years and I couldn’t tell you how that works, either.
When it comes to health, the birth control pill was a kind of miracle for women (1960), trumped by the first test-tube baby in 1978 — today’s term is ‘IVF — and the morning-after pill (1997). Each new discovery shocked me speechless. And, so it was when I learned about trials of uterus transplants happening in Sweden right now.
Nine women, 30-ish, who were born without a uterus or had it removed due to cancer, received a new one that was donated by a close relative.
OK. First, I need to stop and wrap my head around that sentence by itself. It hadn’t occurred to me that a woman could be born without a uterus. I confess I never thought about it. Makes perfect sense, but, still…
Next, I must imagine how very close you’d have to be for a ‘close relative’ give up her uterus. Reading a bit farther in the story, I found that more than one of the nine women received “the womb that carried them for nine months”. Yes. My mind is blown.
But, the medical team says they won’t rank the transplants as successful until the women, or just one of them, uses her new uterus to carry a baby implanted by IVF to term. That goal makes the atoms of what was once my mind disintegrate to dust.
What do you think of such a surgery? Going too far or a logical next step? Either way, it has to be an amazing gift of hope to the women born uterus-less. Also remember that American women hoping for motherhood enjoy options our Swedish sisters don’t have. Sweden is one of many European and Scandinavian countries where surrogate pregnancy is illegal.
A leader of the clinical team, Dr Mats Brannstrom, of the University of Gothenburg, told the Associated Press: “This is a new kind of surgery. We have no textbook to look at.”
“A new kind of surgery”? Yeah, we got that.