First baby born to mom using uterus from a deceased donor

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

In what could prove to be a major advancement for couples facing infertility, the first baby born from a deceased donor uterus transplant was successfully completed at the University Of Sao Paulo School Of Medicine in Brazil, according to a report in the scientific journal Lancet.

In the Brazilian case, the recipient had been born without a uterus due to a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome.

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died of subarachnoid haemorrhage - a type of stroke involving bleeding on the surface of the brain. The baby girl was born via caesarean section on December 15, 2017, at 35 weeks of gestation.

With both the mother and baby healthy a year later, it represents a massive step forward for maternal science. Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the USA have failed. The 10 previous attempts to achieve pregnancies using uteruses from dead donors failed or led to miscarriages.

The recipient tolerated the transplant relatively well thanks to immunosuppression drugs, other treatments and constant monitoring.

Before womb transplants became a viable possibility their only options for having a child were adoption or surrogacy. The first successful uterine transplant (from a living donor) took place in 2013 in Sweden, and the woman who received the transplant gave birth in 2014.

In September 2016 she was given an unexpected chance of motherhood after undergoing the transplant at the Hospital das Clinicas in Sao Paulo.

In a surgery lasting 10.5 hours, the uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient, where it was connected to the recipient's veins and arteries as well as her ligaments and vaginal canals. On the other hand, the researchers state that transplants from deceased donors might have some benefits over donations from live donors.

Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus - due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection - that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.

After seven months, the fertilised eggs were implanted. He added: "The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population".

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.

We wish her a happy first birthday. The mother and child managed to leave the hospital just three days after the birth, with a gloriously uneventful following few months.

Dr. Srdjan Saso of Imperial College London told the broadcaster that the results were "extremely exciting".

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution. Dr Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for almost eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is.

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