First Mother-to-Daughter Womb Transplant Done in Sweden

October 15, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. womb (n.) [woom] – the part inside a woman’s body where a baby develops and grows
Example: The mother could feel the baby moving inside her womb.

2. surgeon (n.) [sur-juh n] – a doctor specializing in surgery or medical operations
Example: The surgeon told the parents that their child’s operation was successful.

3. anonymous (adj.) [uh-non-uh-muh s] –referring to someone whose name is unknown or not revealed
Example: A package, sent by an anonymous person, has no return address. 

4. deem (v.) [deem] – to judge or to consider
Example Doctors deemed the experiment a failure because the results were unexpected. 

5. fertilization (n.) [fur-tl-uh-zey-shuh n]  – a process in human, animal or plant reproduction wherein female and male reproductive cells combine
Example: In humans, the successful combination of male sperm cell and the female egg cell results to fertilization.

Read the text below.

Two Swedish women may now have the chance to bear children after receiving the wombs of their own mothers. The first ever mother-to daughter uterus transplants were done by ten surgeons at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg last September.

One of the recipients had her uterus removed because of cervical cancer while the other patient was born without a womb. Both women, who are in their 30s, are recovering from the operations. Similarly, their mothers who donated the organs were allowed to go home a few days after the transplants.

The names of the patients, however, remain anonymous. Whether the 56-year-old Swedish woman Eva Ottoson was one of the donors is not known. Mrs. Ottoson said last year that she hoped to be the first woman to donate her womb to her daughter, who was born with incomplete reproductive organs.

Although the operations finished without problems, the doctors said the transplants will not be deemed successful unless both recipients become pregnant.

Fertilization of the two women’s eggs already started in a laboratory before their surgeries. The embryos will be kept frozen and will be transferred to the women after a year if the women would be healthy enough.

The womb transplant project has been in development since 1999. The project involves a team of 20 scientists, doctors and specialists led by Mats Brannstrom, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the university.

Last year, the world’s first successful uterus transplant was done by Turkish doctors. They took the womb from a deceased donor and transferred the organ to a young woman who was born without a womb.  

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is right to have womb transplants? Why or why not?
·         What do you think of unnatural or artificial methods, like womb transplants, in having a child?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of organ transplants?
·         Would you say your society is open to this type of medical procedures? Why do you think so?


October 15, 2012