Researchers from Keio University in Tokyo have filed for approval with the university’s ethics review committee to start a clinical trial for uterus transplants.

If approved, the procedure — which has so far not been performed in Japan — could pave the way for some women without a functional uterus to have a child without turning to surrogacy or adoption.

The doctors are planning to perform the surgery on three women in their 20s and 30s who have Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a congenital condition characterized by the underdevelopment or lack of a uterus, or have had their uterus removed due to cancer.