World's first baby born using uterus transplant from dead donor

World's first baby born using uterus transplant from dead donor

Scientists have so far reported some 39 uterus transplants, which have resulted in 11 live births.

While womb transplants from living donors have been successful, womb transplants from deceased donors still need to be researched, as none of the deceased donor transplants has until now resulted in conception and birth.

Researchers say the case study, published Tuesday in The Lancet, shows that such transplants from deceased donors are feasible and may increase options for women struggling with uterine infertility. In this case, a cesarean section was performed for birth at 35 weeks gestation, and along with the delivery of an nearly 6 pound healthy baby girl, the uterus was also removed.

Four months before the transplant, the mother went through IVF and got eight good embryos, which were frozen.

And about six weeks later, she started having periods.

It was then transplanted to the woman who was given medication to weaken her immune system so her body would not reject the uterus. But in September 2016, surgeons at the University of São Paulo in Brazil conducted a 10-hour transplant operation to provide her with one taken from a dead donor.

The woman became pregnant through in vitro fertilisation seven months after the transplant.

But crucially, similar transplants have been done with fetuses which came from a live donor.

The woman's pregnancy was normal, and doctors performed a Caesarean section on December 15, 2017, after about 36 weeks (a full term is about 40 weeks). Mother and baby were discharged from hospital three days later.

At seven months and 20 days - when the case study report was submitted to The Lancet - the baby girl was continuing to breastfeed and weighed 7.2 kg (16 lb).

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

The group of women who would benefit from a uterus transplant is very small.

It is estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of couples of reproductive age worldwide are affected by infertility.

Some who were born without a uterus, other had unexplained malformations, of sustained damaged during childbirth or infection.

"I'd have to say it's in the pipelines but there are easier ways to have children like finding a surrogate or adopting", she said.

She added, however, that the outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared, and said the technique could still be refined and optimised.

"But you can't underestimate the desperation some women feel when they can't have children".

A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, in a world first.

But it was not a procedure Australian specialists were likely to offer any time soon.

The authors pointed out that despite its success the procedure involved major surgery, high doses of immunosuppressants, and moderate levels of blood loss. Those transplants can only be done for women who find a donor, who must undergo a complicated surgery and lengthy recovery, Dr. Tullius said.

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