World’s first baby born via uterus transplant from deceased donor

Faith Castro
December 7, 2018

For the first time, a woman who received a uterus from a deceased donor has successfully given birth-an important milestone for the young field of uterus transplantation, STAT reports.

The baby girl was born almost a year ago to a 32-year-old woman who wasn't born with a uterus, according to the report detailed in the medical journal Lancet on Tuesday.

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

The researchers in Brazil reported that the uterus was ischemic - meaning, off a blood supply - for nearly eight hours, essentially double the reported time from any of the living donor transplants.

This was the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.

The uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient in a surgery that also involved connecting the donor uterus' and recipient's veins and arteries, ligament, and vaginal canals.

After the recipient's womb and ovarian are functioning, the embryos are transplanted into her uterus - generally at least one year after the transplant.

Uterus transplantation is a relatively new area of medicine.

The news opens the door for patients who are normally unable to bear children - after hysterectomies, or because they suffer from diseases like cancer - to receive a uterus transplant and carry their own child.

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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.

According to Lancet, Infertility affects 10-15% of couples of reproductive age. Though there have been 10 uterus transplants from deceased donors in the United States, the Czech Republic and in Turkey, this is the first to result in a child.

Ten days after implantation, the recipient was confirmed to be pregnant. With live donors often in short supply, it's hoped this bold breakthrough from Brazil could offer hope to the 1 in 500 people who experience infertility problems from uterine anomalies.

The 34-year-old woman from São Paulo, Brazil, underwent the procedure in 2016 under the guidance of Dr Dani Ejzenberg and his research team at the University Hospital of Sao Paulo. But all of the other successful deliveries so far have been made possible by living donors - often women who opt to donate their uterus to a close friend or family member without one.

This is the only successful birth resulting from a deceased donor.

In this study, recently deceased women who had given consent for organ transplant were screened based on previous ability to give birth, blood type, and a lack of any history of sexual disease.

Five months after the transplant her body showed no signs of rejecting the uterus and her fertilised eggs were implanted two months later. Today, the girl and the mother are in excellent health, according to the hospital of São Paulo.

Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.

Doctors believe the procedure could help infertile women whose only options now are surrogacy or adoption. The uterus was removed from recipient post that. When the researchers wrote the paper describing the case - about seven months after the birth - both mom and the baby girl were healthy.

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