First Baby Born To Woman With Uterus From Deceased Donor

Ben Davidson
December 7, 2018

Experts say that path breaking procedure will broaden the access to many of whom who would otherwise be left with an option of adoption or surrogacy to have a child.

A woman in Brazil who received a womb transplanted from a dead donor has given birth to a health baby girl, in the first successful case of its kind, doctors reported. The mother is the first in the world to give birth after such a transplant, a feat doctors were not sure would ever be possible. Text the word "Farmers" to 22071.

IVF Australia medical director Associate Professor Peter Illingworth said using deceased donors avoided the need for women to undergo major surgery and the risk of complications in order to donate their uterus to their loved one. It is not clear yet, for instance, whether transplants from live or deceased donors will end up being more successful in the long run, she says.

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.

The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

The first childbirth following uterine transplantation from living donors occurred in Sweden in September 2013 and were also published in The Lancet.

Infertility affects up to 15 per cent of couples of reproductive age. The uterus was removed from recipient post that. The live donors need to be family members of the woman and be willing to donate, as per the current practice.

Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than ten hours.

The 32-year-old patient suffered from a rare genetic disorder called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), which caused her uterus not to develop. The woman's previously fertilised and frozen eggs were implanted after seven months and 10 days later she was confirmed pregnant. The donor, who was 45 when she died of a brain hemorrhage, had delivered three children.

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It said the case involved connecting veins from the donor's uterus with the recipient's veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canals.

Six weeks after the uterine transplant, which was performed in 2016, the Brazilian woman started having periods again. The recipient tolerated the transplant relatively well thanks to immunosuppression drugs, other treatments and constant monitoring.

More: Hospitals know how to protect mothers.

The recipient had her first menstruation 37 days after the uterus transplant, and continued to have regular cycles after that.

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.

Later the doctors fertilised her eggs with the father-to-be's sperm and freezed them.

"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.

Non-invasive prenatal testing was done at 10 weeks, showing a normal foetus, and ultrasound scans at 12 and 20 weeks revealed no foetal anomalies.

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