First baby is born using transplanted womb from dead woman

1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

A 32-year-old woman in Brazil who received a uterus transplant from a deceased donor successfully carried out a pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported on Wednesday. But researchers said that if transplant teams can reliably use uteruses from deceased donors, it could expand the availability of organs and reduce living donors' risks during surgery to remove the uterus.

Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at Brazil's Sao Paulo University hospital who led the research, said the transplant shows the technique is feasible and could offer women with uterine infertility access to a larger pool of potential donors. Previous attempts in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the us have failed. The team said the baby girl was healthy and developing normally.

"The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women".

Experts estimate that infertility affects around 10 to 15 per cent of couples of reproductive age worldwide. Within this group about one in 500 women have irreversible infertility - which can be due to a congenital malformation, cancer, or other illness, leading to genetic absence or removal of the uterus.

The team said the procedure could bring hope of fertility to women with a number of conditions, including those who have had a hysterectomy for medical reasons. Seven months after the transplant, the woman's fertilized eggs were implanted into the uterus, resulting in pregnancy. The donor was a 45-year-old who died after a stroke that caused bleeding on the surface of the brain.

The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.

Unlike most transplantation surgeries "this is not a matter of life and death but more to satisfy a woman's desire to carry a child", Professor Salamonsen said.

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"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks". The recipient tolerated the transplant relatively well thanks to immunosuppression drugs, other treatments and constant monitoring.

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.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly. The baby girl was born via caesarean section on December 15, 2017, at 35 weeks of gestation. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs. The first of these occurred in Sweden in 2013 and since then, 11 babies have been born after similar procedures, according to the Lancet.

Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.

"We must congratulate the authors", commented Srdjan Saso, an honourary clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London, describing the findings as "extremely exciting".

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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