Doctors Announce First Ever Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted From Dead Body

Doctors Announce First Ever Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted From Dead Body

Doctors Announce First Ever Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted From Dead Body

The baby was born by cesarean section between 34 and 36 weeks at the Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.

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

Dr. Richard Kennedy, President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, who was not involved in the work, commented that the organization "welcomes this announcement, which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility".

Why this matters: Expanding the pool of donors to include the dead as well as the living could help increase the number of available uteruses.

A new study details the birth of the world's first baby born using a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. Uterine transplants are considered "ephemeral", meaning they only stay in to allow the recipient to have children and are then removed.

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Since a major breakthrough in 2014, 11 women have given birth to healthy children via a donated uterus from other healthy women.

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option", said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the OH case. In doing so, the team said that thousands of women unable to give birth because of uterine problems may have new hope.

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

Uterine transplants from living donors have occurred before. 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 Brazilian doctors are confident this successful attempt will give more options for uterus transplants in the future, having already planned two more transplants as a part of their study.

The surgery took place in September 2016.

The 32-year-old mother suffers from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome and was born without a uterus.

Four months prior to the transplant, the recipient woman had received in-vitro fertilization, which yielded eight viable embryos that were frozen.

It was then transplanted to the woman who was given medication to weaken her immune system so her body would not reject the uterus.

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

She received five immunosuppression drugs, as well as antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatment and aspirin while in hospital.

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

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.

The uterus from the deceased donor was implanted during a 10-hour operation.

Doctors implanted the fertilized eggs seven months after the procedure. 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.

The whole field of uterus transplantation is in its early days.

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