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she blinded me with science

Mother Might Donate Uterus to Daughter

A 25-year-old woman who was born without a uterus may become one of the first woman to receive a transplant. And the donor might be her own mother. If you’re doing the math correctly, that means that she will receive (and possibly bear children with) the uterus that carried her. Is your mind blown? We’ll give you a moment to wipe down the walls.

First, if you’re wondering if womb transplants are a common thing that you somehow missed reading about, rest assured that this is not the case. This is the world’s second reported womb transplant. The first one took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000; in this case, the donor was anonymous, but the transplant did not take. The maternal twist of this case, however, adds to its unique (and newsworthy) nature.

Swedish doctors believe that science and medicine have improved enough since that 2000 procedure that womb transplants are ready to become more common. And that is where 56-year-old Eva Ottosson could possibly undergo the procedure to transplant her uterus into her daughter Sara, who was born with Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser (MRKH) syndrome (which causes reproductive organs to not develop completely or at all). And Ottosson is more than ready to hand over her uterus, which she says “served [her] well.”

And what about the whole “receiving the womb you were carried in” thing? Sara says:

“I haven’t really thought about that. I’m a biology teacher and it’s just an organ like any other organ. But my mum did ask me about this. She said ‘isn’t it weird?’ And my answer is no. I’m more worried that my mum is going to have a big operation.”

However, the procedure wouldn’t be a breeze for Sara either. Concerns arising with a uterus implant — besides rejection — include hemorrhaging and a sufficient amount of blood vessels to connect the womb. Also, unlike transplanting a kidney, trying to place a uterus into a woman’s pelvis is akin to “working in a funnel.”

If this works, then the availability of womb transplants could mean a lot not just to women, but men transitioning into women. Maybe it will be possible for women who were born men to become mothers as well.

(The Telegraph via Jezebel)


  • Ceili

    I’m glad you mentioned something about post-op transwomen at the end there. When I saw this news earlier today that was my very first thought, as I know a number of people who would be very excited to hear of something like that being possible!

  • Anonymous

    I find it fascinating that a woman whose drive to carry a child is so strong that she and her mother are willing to undergo very risky surgeries, and all that will come after, referring to the uterus as “just an organ like any other.”  If she really felt that way-wouldn’t a surrogate be a better option?  I imagine her response had more to do with trying to answer stupid questions from reporters than really feeling that way.  

  • Shard Aerliss

    I probably shouldn’t go off on a tirade here about the thousands of children across the planet (and in each and every one of our countries) waiting for loving homes while we, as a species, spend millions, maybe billions trying to find ways to create more of us while the lost, forgotten and lonely continue to be lost, forgotten and lonely… so er, oh well, I did.

    To me, being a parent isn’t about continuing your “genetic legacy” but nurturing and loving unconditionally someone that has found their way into your care.


    Heh, just noticed the UNICEF ad on this page; “please give £5 a month to help save a child’s life.” Kind of fitting.

  • Anonymous

  • Frodo Baggins

    For fuck’s sake. Just adopt, why don’t you? What’s the big deal?

  • Duffy Elmer

    Evolution, my dear Mr. Baggins. If you don’t have the drive to pass on your own genes, they’ll die out.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

  • Frodo Baggins

    They’ll also die out if you die from a hemorrhage, and take your mom with you. Also, being born without reproductive apparatus is not, I think, a genetic trait that natural selection especially favors. Nor is continued reproduction in an already overpopulated environment, for that matter.

  • Chelsea Coward

    I’m ridiculously excited for trans women, cis women without uteruses…eh. I realize it’s safer to test the operation on someone who produces various hormones naturally, etc, but eh.

    To the article author, though, it’s ‘male assigned at birth’, not ‘born men’. They were always ladies (generally, can’t forget genderfluid people), the doctor just picked wrong.

  • Shard Aerliss

    Not true, if you are there to help protect the progeny of your family/tribe. There is one school of thought that says homosexuality (which reduces the chances of breeding somewhat) in humans helped to ensure the genetic traits of one family, as opposed to one individual, survived. It meant that there would be less competition for resources as well as a greater number of providers and carers for the children. This might also explain the complete lack of reproductive drive some people have if it cannot be put down to the actions of “nurture” on a person’s psychology.