Ever Baby Born Thanks to Transplant Uterus From a Deceased Donor

Lynette PayneDec 07, 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 first womb transplant baby was born in Sweden in 2013, using her grandmother's uterus, and since then there have been 10 other births globally.

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died of subarachnoid haemorrhage - a type of stroke involving bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Her baby girl was born via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, weighing 2.5kg (about 6lbs) and the transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies. Almost a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.

Since live uterus donors are a limitation, the report shows that uterus transplants from deceased donors are feasible and may open access for all women with uterine problems, without the need for live donors, as is the practice now. There have been previous attempts to birth a child using a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor, however, all have proved unsuccessful.

According to the report, the team performed the operation on an unnamed 32-year-old woman in a Brazilian hospital in September 2016.

"Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility", said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo. The baby was born in December 2017.

"Up to 15 percent of couples suffer from infertility and every year thousands of women are using gestational carriers in order to conceive", said Dr. Tomer Singer, who directs reproductive endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

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.

It was also the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.

While researchers in countries including Sweden and the USA have previously succeeded in transplanting wombs from living donors into women who have gone on to give birth, experts said the latest development was a significant advance.

Doctors say the unidentified woman gave birth via a cesarean section.

While there have been several cases of successful deliveries following uterine transplants from family and friends, it was once believed that a transplant from a deceased donor was not possible.

A team of doctors in Brazil have announced a medical first that could someday help countless women unable to have children because of a damaged or absent uterus.

Four months prior to the transplant, the recipient woman had received in-vitro fertilization, which yielded eight viable embryos that were frozen. The researchers do point out that the outcomes and effects of donations from live and deceased donors haven't been compared yet. For future procedures he hopes to cut down on the time to transplant by removing the uterus before other organs, like the heart and kidneys. In the same procedure as the live birth, the uterine was removed to curb any chance of issues with rejection.

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.

An estimated one in 500 women have no wombs or abnormal wombs due to hysterectomies, inherited disease, malformation or infection.

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