First baby born after deceased womb transplant

Maricruz Casares
Diciembre 5, 2018

For the first time, a woman has given birth after receiving a uterus transplant from a deceased donor, researchers reported Tuesday.

To date, 39 womb transplants from live donors have been performed, resulting in the birth of 11 babies, according to BBC News.

Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team's lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, said the woman - a 32-year-old psychologist - was apprehensive about the transplant. Previous attempts in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the USA have failed.

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.

He said any doubts he had about the potential importance of uterus transplants were erased after meeting the mother of the first baby born after a live donor uterus transplant. Of the 10-15 per cent of couples with infertility problems, one in 500 women have uterine abnormalities. They cite women with inoperable fibroids, or abnormal uterine growths, those who have experienced embryo implantation failure and those who have received pelvic radiation as categories of women who may be able to benefit from uterus transplantation in the future. After seven months, fertilised eggs were implanted, the BBC reported.

"The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population".

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three previous pregnancies and died of a stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Uterus transplantation is a relatively new area of medicine.

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The uterus transplant surgery, a first in Latin America, took more than 10 hours to complete.

The woman was given immunosuppressants to prevent rejection of the womb, while the team took biopsies of the cervix at regular intervals to check for signs of rejection.

"The increase in the number of centers performing this transplant, standardization of the surgical technique and immunosuppressive therapy can facilitate access to this new modality of treatment", he says.

In this trial, the mother was given standard doses of immune suppression medications for nearly six months, with positive results, before implantation of the embryo was completed.

Aside from a kidney infection that was treated with antibiotics, the woman had a healthy and normal pregnancy. In Sweden in 2014, doctors for the time time helped a woman with a transplanted uterus give birth; since then, there have been about a dozen such babies born around the world. About a dozen babies have now been born from uteruses provided by living donors-usually the recipient's mother, sister or friend-out of about 50 attempts worldwide.

Dr Srdjan Saso, from Imperial College London, said the results were "extremely exciting".

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), said: "The IFFS welcomes this announcement which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility".

Dr Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for almost eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is.

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