How a patient’s ‘crazy’ request for a new womb made history
DIY JO is here to take care of you from root to sole. Not a dermatologist or doctor, but having eczema and acne, plus a love for my hair, through trial and error, I have found some tried and proven methods and all-natural concoctions that work wonders for me. And what is a sisterhood if not sharing right?
This week I tackle the scalp. As I said, I have eczema, so my scalp flaking has always been a problem. As a child, my poor mother tried everything. The only thing that offered some temporary relief was aloe vera, which she would rub all over my scalp.
The stress during university created havoc on my hair and it started to break, and I shed like a snake (large clumps that you could just peel off my scalp). Something had to be done.
I started doing research and realised that anything with mineral oil was an absolute no-no for my natural tresses. Washing my hair with hot water was also causing more harm than good because it further dried out my scalp. Hair oils with petroleum jelly did not work for me either, and eliminating it from my regime was a life changer.
So what did I use? I started seeing coconut oil, this and Jamaican black castor oil. I must admit that at first I was not enthused to try either. I like my hair smelling like flowers, not fried dumplings, and we all know what castor oil smells like. Even so, the two did not fully work on their own. Then I discovered tea tree oil, and again I must say not the best of aromas as it smelt like something to clear the sinuses, but thankfully, the smell does not linger for very long.
When I mixed the three and used it on my scalp every other day, I saw a remarkable difference. I also tried the mixture as a hot oil treatment, which also works very well. And if you are like me and not very disciplined when it comes to a hair regimen, when you do the hot oil treatment, you can just oil the scalp twice a week with the mixture and you are good to go.
When mixing, you can use equal amounts of castor and coconut oils. Only a few drops of tea tree oil is needed; it will give you a slight tingle.
If using as a hot oil treatment, apply the mixture to your scalp only, or replace the tea tree oil with argan oil and apply to your strands as well. Tea tree oil does not work well with everyone’s strands, mine included, so I recommend applying it only to your scalp. STOCKHOLM (AP): WHEN THE young Australian cervical cancer patient learned she had to lose her womb in order to survive, she proposed something audacious to the doctor who was treating her – she asked if she could have a womb transplant, so she could one day carry her own baby.
This was nearly two decades ago, when the Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom was training to be a physician abroad.
“I thought she was a bit crazy,” Brannstrom said.
But Brannstom didn’t dismiss her idea. Instead, after he returned to Sweden he began a series of painstaking research projects to learn whether it might be possible to transplant a womb, despite criticism that the unheard of procedure was dangerous, medically unnecessary, and impossible.
Brannstrom went on to become the first doctor to deliver babies – five so far – from women with donated wombs. No other doctor in the world has succeeded, despite attempts in the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and ongoing efforts in China, Britain, France, the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
FIRST BABY’S BIRTH
The first of Brannstom’s patients’ babies was born in 2014 and the fifth arrived in January; another is due in early 2017.
Brannstrom is working with doctors at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to help women beyond Sweden get access to the procedure. Doctors at Baylor University in Texas, including two former members of Brannstrom’s team, announced this week they performed four womb transplants. One was successful, but not yet ready to attempt a pregnancy.
And scientists, many of whom were both doubtful and critical before, now believe Brannstom’s work could help them extend the use of organs for those who need transplants and learn how embryos implant in the uterus after conception, a poorly understood but critical stage in pregnancy.
In 2012, he obtained ethical permission to perform womb transplants in nine Swedish women. He then held an information session one evening in the southern city of Gothenburg, where the operations were to take place.
Of the nine women who had the transplants, two had their wombs removed when complications arose. Five women had healthy babies and the last two are trying to get pregnant.
Brannstrom believes doctors in other countries will soon deliver more babies from women with transplanted wombs, and predicts that the surgery will one day become routine.
Emelie Eriksson, who received a womb transplant and then had a baby boy in 2014, said she could never thank Brannstrom enough.
“I think I need to thank him a thousand times more,” she said. “He’s my hero. He made it possible for me to have a child.”
Pure, natural coconut oil – very helpful in relieving itchy, dry skin.