Health Care

World’s first baby born via uterus transplant from deceased donor

World’s first baby born via uterus transplant from deceased donor”

A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, in a world first.

Doctors believe the procedure could help infertile women whose only options now are surrogacy or adoption. Upon encountering a suitable candidate and donor, doctors must act quickly to remove the uterus and transport it to the patient.

The healthy baby girl was born via cesarean section at Hospital das Clínicas, at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, after her mother underwent a uterine transplant followed by an In vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy just seven months later.

The 45-year-old donor died of a stroke. Deceased donor uterus transplants have been attempted in the past few years, but none resulted in the birth of a healthy baby. Previously, uterus transplants from a live woman were the only option, but donors are in short supply.

The case was proof-of-concept that deceased donor uterine transplantation was "a new option for women with uterine infertility" lead researcher and gynaecologist Dr Dani Ejzenberg said. But all of the other successful deliveries so far have been made possible by living donors - often women who opt to donate their uterus to a close friend or family member without one. Of the 10-15 per cent of couples with infertility problems, one in 500 women have uterine abnormalities.

Doctors also removed the transplanted uterus during her C-section in order to take the mother off immunosuppressant medication required for maintaining a transplanted organ.

Nearly exactly a year after the baby's historic birth, Ejzenberg says she is developing normally and her mother feels "fulfilled".

The first successful birth from a living uterus donor was in Sweden in 2014, and there have only been 11 babies delivered that way since.

The baby is the first to be delivered from a donated uterus from a dead donor.

"I'd have to say it's in the pipelines but there are easier ways to have children like finding a surrogate or adopting", she said.

Part of the challenge in transplanting a uterus from a deceased donor is that the process - obtaining an organ, matching it to a recipient based on blood type and other qualities, and completing the operation - can take time.

"This is not in the case of a kidney or liver transplant, clearly because the vagina is an exposed area and since you are unable to identify what kind of organisms were growing, there is a potential danger for rejection", Ms Rao added.

But in the case of a uterus transplant from a cadaver, the potential danger for infections is more, says Kamini A. Rao, Medical Director, Milann-The Fertility Centre, Bengaluru.

For years researchers have been trying to help women who had been either born without uteruses or lost them for medical reasons to carry their own children.

Five months after the transplant, the implanted womb appeared to have been successfully incorporated into her body.

The authors of the study acknowledge that, as a new medical procedure, there is much further work to be done to make the procedure safer and more efficient.

"This was the most important thing in her life". It was also the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.



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