A uterus vase. Rather cool I thought, found here:
Anyway, today’s shock-horror that I read in the paper is that of human uterine transplants becoming a realistic proposition.
Childless women ‘could get womb transplants next year’
Womb transplants that would allow childless women to have babies could be available as early as next year, a leading researcher said last night.
Following successful animal experiments, doctors are ready to implant women with healthy wombs from donors.
The forecast will bring hope to the thousands of women of childbearing age who are born without a womb or have had it removed because of disease.
But critics warned that the breakthrough erodes the sanctity of life and questioned its safety.
The prediction comes from one of the world’s leading pioneers in female organ transplants, Professor Mats Brannstrom of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, who has spent more than a decade perfecting the complex surgical techniques needed for a womb transplant.
His team have succeeded in implanting donated wombs in mice, rats, sheep and pigs and are now hoping to achieve the same success in women.
A British team, from Hammersmith Hospital in London, have also been developing womb transplants and have carried out successful experiments on rabbits. The only human womb transplant so far took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000, but the donated organ failed after four months.
The British and Swedish researchers believe this was because of the complexity of connecting the new womb to the body’s blood supply.
But in the latest issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, Professor Brannstrom said: ‘During the last decade, there has been considerable progress in surgical techniques.’
The professor told the Daily Mail that he expects womb transplants to be carried out as early as next year, at one of ten hospitals around the world.
The transplant would only be temporary.
The long-term dangers of the drugs needed to prevent rejection would mean that the new womb would have to be removed after one or two pregnancies.
Susan Seenan, of the patient support group Infertility Network UK, said: ‘Women unable to conceive and carry their own baby face real heartache, and womb transplants may be one way of helping them.
‘However a great deal of thought and discussion on all the issues would be required.’
Josephine Quintavalle, of campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘I think it is going to be really hard to prove that this is safe, and the experiment is not so much on the woman having the transplant but on the baby she is carrying.
‘We have to understand how difficult it is for some people who cannot have children but we can’t start this mentality of there always being an answer.’
Did anyone else have the knee-jerk creepies out of this story?
Apart from the obvious ‘if you can’t bear children, just accept it’ and ‘if the NHS is so strapped for cash, how can they justify funding stuff that is not life-preserving or life-enhancing’, my brain immediately recalls the long history in modern gynaecological medicine that has included thousands upon thousands of unnecessary hysterectomies.
How easy it would be, under the existing medical climate of ‘whipping it all out’ (and women going along with this unquestioningly) for the medical profession to perform even more unnecessary hysterectomies in order to supply these uterine transplants? There have already been quite a few scandals within the IVF field with regard to ova/embryo surplus used as discount schemes.
We are already subjugated on the basis of our biological function, I cannot see this new transplant technology as benefiting women at all.
Except maybe M2Ts. M2Ts already fetish women’s reproductive functions, including having fake periods, using tampons up their butt, all in order to “feel more girly/sissie”. I have a post in the pipeline for this fetish, it is worthy as a standalone.
None of this technology ever benefits women, even financially. The disparity of contribution risk vs payment is seen in sperm/ova donation. A dude wanks into a cup, no risk to him, and gets $15 for his troubles. For a woman to donate ova, she must endure fertility drugs that muck up her natural hormone balance for months, then go through invasive surgery for the extraction – even laparoscopies require general anaesthetic, and are not without risk (like puncturing other organs, potential death). For going through all that, the woman gets her medical expenses covered (whoopty-doo) and not much more than pocket money, if anything, for her troubles. Surrogate mothers sometimes get paid reasonable sums, but in a number of countries such payments are illegal, with only medical expenses being allowed to be paid.
I like what one commenter said on The Daily Mail article:
Are they catering for women who want to get pregnant (as opposed to becoming mothers) now?? My uterus has never been used – I carry a donor card, but I’ll firmly oppose this particular organ being donated!!
– Magda, Paris, France, 26/3/2011 10:14
As the owner of another nulliparous uterus, me too.