First Baby Born To Woman With Uterus From Deceased Donor

07 December, 2018, 23:50 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • World’s first baby born via womb transplant from dead donor

The donated uterus was removed during the C-section and the woman's wound healed well, the researchers say.

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

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

Ten previous attempts, in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, to achieve a live birth using a womb taken from a dead individual, had all ended in failure.

This technique presents several advantages compared to the graft harvested from a living person: it is less expensive and, more importantly, it avoids the risks to the donor. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.

Infertility, in general, affects about 15% of couples of reproductive age. If uterus transplants ever become a run of the mill procedure, it could change the lives of many, many would-be parents.

"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.

Ejzenberg stressed that it's rare that living women are willing and eligible to donate a uterus to a family member or close friend. Transplants from living donors are scheduled and can take place in adjacent operating rooms.

Just seven months after the operation, doctors were able to begin in vitro fertilization, using the patient's own eggs harvested before her transplant surgery.

The first baby born from a woman who recieved a uterus transplant from a dead donor is healthy a year on.

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The surgical team had to connect the donor's uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.

She stayed in intensive care for two days after the surgery and then spent six more on a specialised transplant ward.

She received five immunosuppression drugs to prevent her body rejecting the new organ, as well as other treatments to combat infection and blood clotting.

Research has since continued, with informed volunteers still opting to go through the discomfort and potential trauma in the hopes of giving birth.

Five months before the transplant, the recipient had sixteen eggs from her own functional ovaries removed.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal.

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. Non-invasive prenatal testing was done at 10 weeks, showing a normal foetus, and ultrasound scans at 12 and 20 weeks revealed no fetal anomalies. And it's possible that patients won't need as many immunosuppressants as they now receive to stave off organ rejection.

The whole field of uterus transplantation is in its early days. The immunosuppressive therapy was suspended at the end of the hysterectomy.

After the birth both patient and baby appeared healthy and well. But donors are hard to find and the surgical procedure to remove the womb from a living person can be unsafe.

The recipient and her partner received monthly psychological counselling from professionals specialised in transplants and fertility throughout before, during and after the transplant.

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