One in five thousand women in the UK are born without a functional womb and are unable to conceive and carry their own child.

For many other women, their wombs have had to be removed following cancer or other illnesses and conditions, including endometriosis.

After more than 25 years of womb transplant research in the United Kingdom, British surgeons have performed the first womb transplant in the country, giving a woman who was born without a functioning womb the possibility of getting pregnant and carrying her own baby.

Both the donor operation and subsequent transplant took place at the Oxford Transplant Centre at OUH's Churchill Hospital, with the two procedures overlapping and together taking almost 18 hours. 

All being well, the recipient will undergo embryo transfer later this year at the Lister Fertility Clinic in London, part of HCA Healthcare UK. Once pregnancy is confirmed the recipient will be closely monitored in a specialist antenatal clinic at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, where the delivery would also take place, according to information on the Oxford University Hospitals' website.

While this is the first transplant of its kind in the UK, approximately 100 transplants have been performed globally, with around 50 babies born so far. The first successful womb transplant operations were carried out in 2013 at Gothenburg in Sweden.

The transplant was undertaken as part of the UK living donor programme, which is sponsored and funded by the charity Womb Transplant UK, following approval from the Human Tissue Authority. The surgical team was co-led by surgeons at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust.