Healthy Baby Born To Woman Who Received World’s First Deceased Womb Transplant

World’s first baby born via womb transplant from dead donor

World’s first baby born via womb transplant from dead donor

A woman in Brazil is the first in the world to give birth following a uterus transplant from a deceased donor in a medical milestone that potentially offers another treatment option for women with uterine-related infertility.

The baby girl's mother was born without a uterus as a result of Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome a rare disorder that affects a woman's reproductive system. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had suddenly died of stroke; she had had three successful pregnancies delivered vaginally in the past.

The 10-hour transplant operation - and later fertility treatment - took place in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. Four months prior to the transplant, the patient had IVF, producing eight fertilised eggs that were later frozen. And 35-and-a-half weeks after that, she gave birth to a seemingly healthy baby girl, delivered via cesarean section with no complications.

The report concludes that the results establish proof-of-concept for "treating uterine infertility by transplantation from a deceased donor, opening a path to a healthy pregnancy for all women with uterine factor infertility, without the need of living donors or live donor surgery". The live donors need to be family members of the woman and be willing to donate, as per the current practice.

Eleven previous births have used a transplanted uterus, but they were from a living-not a deceased-woman, who was usually a relative or a friend, according to The Associated Press. With a deceased donor, things are a little more rushed and the timing might not be ideal, O'Neill notes, but surgeons can take more tissue from the vagina and blood vessel network than is possible with a living donor.

"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", Saso stated.

Professor Lois Salamonsen, research group head of endometrial remodelling and Adjunct Professor at Monash University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said she had received a few calls form Australian women over the years asking why uterine transplantation wasn't done in Australia.

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But Dr. Tullius said surrogacy comes with its own challenges, from compensation to the ethics of asking a woman to undergo the rigours of pregnancy.

In the end, they held off an additional month after tests suggested the lining of the donor uterus wasn't quite thick enough to support implantation. At the age of 7 months and 20 days, the baby continued to breastfeed and weighed 15 pounds, 14 ounces. Flyckt and her colleagues in Cleveland have also performed two transplants from deceased donors.

"The successful case in our service brings hope to other centers that believe in this type of transplant", Ejzenberg said in an email to TIME.

While the doctors the thrilled with the results they warn the procedure is still in its in early stages and will require more research and collaboration before it becomes a widely spread option for infertile women. Doctors then removed the uterus so the mother would not have to continue anti-rejection medications.

Researchers not involved in the study cautioned that, given all the biological constraints, the pool of potential uterus donors is actually quite small, even taking into account deceased donors.

Moreover, the doctors said that while a transplanted kidney or liver stays for life, it is not the case with the uterus.

The oldest child born via uterine transplant - a boy - had just had his fourth birthday.

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