Doctor enables women without uterus to have babies

Doctor enables women without uterus to have babies
Mats Brannstrom

Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom is resolved to give women without uteruses around the world the joy of having a child.

Brannstrom, 57, leads a 40-member medical team as a professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Last month, he attended a meeting of the International Federation of Fertility Societies in Yokohama.

He is known as the first doctor to successfully enable a woman to deliver a baby by transplanting a uterus into her body.

Brannstrom transplanted the uterus of a 61-year-old into a 35-year-old Swede who did not have the organ in 2013, and the recipient delivered a 1,775-gram baby boy by Caesarean section the following year.

Two more women have delivered babies through the same process since then, and another woman is now pregnant.

The plea of a patient with cervical cancer sparked Brannstrom to study uterus transplantation: In 1998, a 27-year-old asked him to transplant her mother's uterus into her, saying it was the only way for her to ever deliver a baby.

The request surprised Brannstrom, because he had never thought of a transplant. He took up the challenge and conducted operations on mice and monkeys for more than a decade. In 2012, he succeeded in conducting a live-donor uterus transplant.

An estimated 60,000 to 70,000 Japanese women do not have a uterus. Brannstrom's motto is that nothing is impossible and to just concentrate on the challenge.

Brannstrom has five children, ranging from a 25-year-old medical student to a 7-year-old daughter.

He said he was thrilled when his oldest son recently told him he wanted to pursue a career as an obstetrician-gynecologist. No job is more wonderful than witnessing the beginning of life, according to Brannstrom.

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