A Japanese research team has said that a crab-eating monkey, also known as a long-tail monkey, has successfully given birth after having its uterus removed and reimplanted.
The team said it was the first case in which a primate gave birth after having its uterus reimplanted. There have been overseas reports of human pregnancies after uterus transplants, but not of successful deliveries.
The team’s research may lead to the development of techniques that allow women to have children after uterus transplants, although critics have raised ethical questions because the uterus is not a life-sustaining organ.
The team, including researchers from Keio University and the University of Tokyo, presented its findings at a meeting of the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Sapporo on Friday.
The team removed and reimplanted the uterus of the 6-year-old monkey, which resumed menstruation 35 days after the operation and got pregnant naturally in 116 days. No developmental problems were seen in the fetus and the birth was done by cesarean section.
Iori Kisu, associate professor at Keio University, said, “This could lead to the possibility of patients who are born without a uterus or had to take out a uterus, delivering babies in the future.”
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