World's first baby born via womb transplant from deceased donor

World's first baby born via womb transplant from deceased donor

In a world first a woman in Brazil born without a uterus has given birth to a baby girl using a dead donor's womb.

The surgery described in the case study took place in September 2016, and notes that a 32-year-old woman who had been born without a uterus was the recipient of the transplant.

The miracle baby girl was born in Brazil via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, weighing around 6lbs.

This baby is the first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.

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. With live donors in short supply, the new technique might help to increase availability and give more women the option of pregnancy. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first US baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus.

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

The current need for live donors "is a major limitation as donors are rare, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends", Dr Ejzenberg said.

"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.

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.

The oldest child born via uterine transplant - a boy - had just had his fourth birthday. She doesn't know it yet, but her birth set a milestone in medical history, providing new opportunities for women who otherwise couldn't carry and deliver a child.

Although uterus transplants are a growing area of medicine, they remain highly experimental and are very hard surgeries to complete. But donors are hard to find and the surgical procedure to remove. Four months prior to the operation, the recipient had one IVF cycle, providing her with eight fertilized eggs which were then frozen. Doctors then removed the uterus so the mother would not have to continue anti-rejection medications.

With this recent success comes not just the promise of greater access to donor organs, but vital information on what a transplanted uterus requires to successfully carry an embryo to full term.

It is not the first time a womb transplant from a dead donor has been tried, but none had resulted in a live birth until now.

Researchers in Turkey performed a uterine transplant in 2011 from a deceased donor but have not had any successful pregnancies. 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. The uterus is removed and immunosuppressants are stopped after birth, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Researchers not involved in the study cautioned that, given all the biological constraints, the pool of potential uterus donors is actually quite small, even taking into account deceased donors.