1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

A woman who was transplanted with a deceased donor's womb has given birth to a baby girl, researchers in Brazil say. Almost a year later, the researchers say that neither the mother nor the child have experienced any complications or abnormalities.

The baby was born at the Hospital Das Clinicas at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil.

Experts hope uterus transplants will one day be more widely available for women without uteruses or with damaged organs - or potentially even transgender women - seeking to become pregnant.

The use of a deceased donor is a significant achievement that could greatly increase access to the procedure, said Stefan Tullius, chief of transplant surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has participated in living donor uterus transplant surgery.

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

Ten prior attempts using deceased donors in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey haven't worked, the report noted.

Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples.

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor in 2016, but the procedure failed. "It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", he said.

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The mother was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare condition that caused her to be born without a uterus. The donor was 45-years-old and had borne three children in her lifetime before dying of a stroke. After the transplant, the woman began a regimen of immunosuppressant medication to ensure she would not reject the donor organ.

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. It was the first successful uterine transplant in Latin America.

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.

Aside from a kidney infection that was treated with antibiotics, the woman had a healthy and normal pregnancy. After almost 36 weeks a baby girl weighing 2.5 kilograms (about six pounds) was delivered via caesarean section.

After the birth both patient and baby appeared healthy and well.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs. She weighed 2.5 kilograms.

"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".

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution. The latest birth opens "a path to healthy pregnancy for all women with uterine factor infertility, without need of living donors or live donor surgery", they wrote in the paper.

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