Scientists have created prototypes made of cells extracted from women’s bodies. Embryos successfully attached themselves to the walls of these laboratory wombs and began to grow. However, experiments had to be terminated after a few days to comply with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) regulations.

“We hope to create artificial wombs using these techniques in a few years,” said Dr Hung-Ching Liu of Cornell University’s Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility. “Women with damaged uteruses and wombs will be able to have babies.”

The pace of progress in this field has startled experts.