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London - A woman who underwent the world’s first successful womb transplant is pregnant.
Doctors treating the 22-year-old said early test results were “consistent with the expected signs of pregnancy”.
The success of Derya Sert’s IVF fertility treatment could give hope to childless women.
Sert was described as a “medical miracle” when she became the first woman in the world to have a successful womb transplant, from a dead donor, in August 2011.
Since then other women have also been given a womb transplant, but Sert is the first to become pregnant.
Doctors in Antalya, Turkey, waited for 18 months before implanting an embryo into the transplanted womb, to give the pregnancy the greatest possible chance of survival.
Professor Omer Ozkan, who carried out the transplant in 2011, said Sert and her husband Mustafa, 30, are anxiously waiting to see their baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound for the first time.
“Derya and Mustafa are very happy about the news,” he added. “They’ve been realistic about all the possibilities.
“This is all very early stage, but the results are promising. When we can see the baby’s heartbeat, then we’ll relax.”
From her home in Turkey, Mustafa’s mother, Emine Sert, 57, said on Sunday night: “We’re delighted. My only wish is the baby is healthy. We don’t mind if it’s a boy or a girl. If it’s a boy they’re thinking about naming him after the doctor, or his wife’s name if it’s a girl.”
However, Sert still faces a high risk of miscarriage and other complications in the early stages of pregnancy.
There is also a chance of birth defects linked to the immune-suppressing drugs used in transplants.
Sert was born without a womb, a rare condition which affects around one in 5 000 women.
But her ovaries were healthy and she produced eggs, which doctors harvested before the womb transplant to create embryos fertilised with sperm from her husband Mustafa.
Earlier this month at least one fertilised embryo was placed into the new womb by specialists at Akdeniz University Hospital in Antalya.
Any baby would be delivered via Caesarean section after eight months, to reduce the chance of premature labour.
Following a birth, doctors would then carry out further surgery to remove the donor womb, to avoid the risk of infection or rejection.
A successful birth would give hope to the 15 000 women in Britain who are born without a womb or who have had hysterectomies.
A team of British doctors is hoping to perform the first womb transplants in this country within two years. - Daily Mail