Fertility is a hard, hard topic for many people. Just ask anybody who has mentioned it even in passing on Facebook; it turns your feed into a river of flame. And it’s one that’s about to get more interesting, and more controversial, with the first birth from a transplanted uterus.
According to NPR, the baby in question was born early, but was otherwise healthy and was sent home with the mother. It was a major hurdle for a medical endeavor that started with a simple question: A cervical cancer patient whom Dr. Mats Brannstrom was treating asked him why he couldn’t just transplant a new uterus inside her to replace the one he had to remove. He had no answer, so he decided to learn why.
The idea of doing so with a human dates back to the 1930s, although it was a tragic failure. With the arrival of in-vitro fertilization, the idea largely fell by the wayside, until Brannstrom picked it up, leading to a transplant test in 2012 and now, a successful birth.
Questions certainly remain; the baby was conceived through IVF treatments, and the transplant requires a number of drugs to prevent rejection of both uterus and fetus. But it did what a uterus is supposed to do, and that raises a few questions. Not the least of which is simply this: Is this a new, viable way to treat infertility?