Around 1 in 5,000 women across the world are born without a womb, making it impossible for them to have children. 

Around 15,000 women of childbearing age, in the UK alone, have no womb and many more have no viable womb. For many, this is due to having to have a hysterectomy, as a result of cervical cancer, often either before they have had children or completed their family. 

For both of these groups of women, their only option for having a child would be surrogacy or a womb transplant.

What is a womb transplant?    

A womb transplant involves the removal of a womb from a living woman so that it can be implanted into a woman of childbearing age, to enable them to able to conceive. Womb transplants have been successful in allowing women who would otherwise be unable to conceive, to give birth to their own, healthy babies.

What does the process of a womb transplant involve? 

The womb and the cervix are removed from the donor female and implanted into the recipient female. In order for the womb to become functioning, the surgeons will then need to attach the muscles, tendons, arteries and veins. The retrieval process takes 2-3 hours and the implantation process around 6 hours.

Are there risks involved with womb transplants?

As with any other surgical operation, womb transplants carry a risk to the donor and to the recipient. As success in the field of womb transplants is still very new, statistical analysis is based on a small number of cases. Before opting for any major surgery, it is very wise to be fully aware of risks, including potential risks to life or health, any side effects of medication and risk to any unborn child. Where surgery is for a non-life-threatening condition, it’s very important to ascertain whether the potential benefits outweigh the risks. 

When was the first successful womb transplant?

The first baby born as a result of a successful womb transplant operation was in 2014.

Womb transplants explained

How available are womb transplants and what is the cost in the UK?

Womb transplants are still very rare, compared with other methods of treating infertility and the process still requires lots more research, but for women hoping to be able to give birth to their own baby, rather than having a surrogate, it provides a potential option.  

The cost of a womb transplant through the NHS is likely to be over £50,000. 

How can women get involved in the research programme in the UK?

Involvement in the research programme for womb transplants in the UK, requires meeting strict criteria, including being within a certain age range and never having conceived a child before. 

More information about womb transplants and the research behind them can be found at  


Is it possible to go overseas for a womb transplant operation?

Overseas clinics are performing womb transplants, however, it’s important to be aware that not all countries have the same rules and regulations in place as the UK when it comes to safety, cleanliness, stringent testing of procedures and ethical considerations. Going overseas for treatment can also bring with it additional emotional and physical stress and incur further costs for travel, accommodation and insurance.


At The IVF Network, we understand how challenging infertility can be for couples and individuals going through it. That’s why we provide information and support, via our dedicated channel of experts in the field of fertility, our website and our blog posts. By gathering up-to-date, relevant and purposeful information ourselves, you can access this information without the overwhelm involved in trawling the internet and you can make informed decisions on your own fertility journey.