Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

1st baby born from dead donor’s uterus: Lancet

1st baby born from dead donor’s uterus: Lancet

A 32-year-old mom born without a uterus became the first to successfully give birth to a healthy baby after receiving a transplant from a deceased donor two years ago.

The healthy baby girl was delivered last December to a 32-year-old woman who wasn't born with a uterus.

In a bid to have biological children, she underwent a transplant where she received a 45-year-old woman's uterus after her death.

The baby was delivered via Caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2 550g according to the case study reported in The Lancet.

Almost a year later, the mother and baby are both healthy.

In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic attempted a pregnancy using a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed because of an infection.

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. Until now, the only successful uterus transplants have involved living donors who are typically family members of the recipients.

"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. The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months and ten days after implantation, the recipient was confirmed to be pregnant. Today, the girl and the mother are in excellent health, according to the hospital of São Paulo.

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Uterine transplantation is a multi-step process that requires coordination among numerous physicians.

While researchers in countries including Sweden and the United States 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.

Study authors wrote that, "the success expands prospects for childbirth among women with infertility attributable to uterine factors". "It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", he said. "It is also a source of hope for those patients who [do not have a uterus] or who have lost it unexpectedly and do not have a family member or close friend to donate the uterus". "With life donors in short supply, the new technique might help to increase availability and give more women the option of pregnancy", said reputed British medical journal Lancet.

After seven months, the fertilised eggs were implanted.

Uterus transplantation is a relatively new area of medicine.

Researchers in Turkey performed a uterine transplant in 2011 from a deceased donor but have not had any successful pregnancies.

Five months after the transplant, the uterus showed no signs of rejection and the recipient was menstruating regularly. Upon encountering a suitable candidate and donor, doctors must act quickly to remove the uterus and transport it to the patient.

She said just one of the consequences of a such a procedure is the potential rupturing of the uterus, which could have had catastrophic effects for the mother and the child. 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.

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