The first womb transplants in Britain will be carried out within the next six months, a doctor has said.
If successful, the first baby born as a result of the procedure could arrive by 2020.
Doctor Richard Smith – the gynaecologist leading the project – has called the development “truly exciting”.
The experimental procedure – which will take place in an NHS transplant centre – will be funded by charity Womb Transplant UK and will cost around £30,000 per patient.
Three women aged 24-38, who were either born without a functioning womb or have had it removed due to an illness such as cancer, will be chosen from a waiting list of 50 potential recipients.
To be eligible, each women had to be in a long-term relationship, in good health and still have ovaries.
The womb will be donated from a living mother or sister.
Chosen couples will also undergo IVF surgery, and an embryo will be implanted six months after transplant.
Following the birth – which will need to be carried out via C-section – the womb will be removed so that anti-rejection medication no longer has to be taken.
It is hoped the pioneering treatment will allow thousands of woman to become mothers.
Previously, women unable to have children biologically were left with the options of adoption or surrogacy.
The first successful womb transplant took place in Sweden in 2013, with a baby boy born in 2014.
Permission was granted for transplants to take place in UK in 2015, using wombs from deceased donors.
So far 11 babies have been born worldwide as a result of 42 womb transplants, with eight of them born in Sweden.
Womb transplants have also been carried out in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, US, China, Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany, Serbia and India.
From – SkyNews