Healthy baby born to woman following uterus transplant from deceased donor

Healthy baby born to woman following uterus transplant from deceased donor

Healthy baby born to woman following uterus transplant from deceased donor

The study was welcomed by British fertility expert Dr Srdjan Saso, part of the Womb Transplant UK team, who said: "Our hope, as we plan to kick-start the UK programme at the beginning of 2019, is for the deceased donor uterine transplant programme to grow alongside its "live donor" counterpart".

With live donors in short supply, doctors say the new technique might help to increase availability and give more women the option of pregnancy.

The world's first baby has been born using a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor, according to Brazilian doctors. "Infertility can have a devastating impact upon couples, particularly for women with absolute uterine factor infertility, for which there has been no effective treatment to date and - for some of these women, womb transplantation is the only way they can carry a pregnancy", stated Mr J Richard Smith, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Clinical Lead at Womb Transplant UK.

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Eleven children have been born following uterine transplantation from living donors, the first of which occurred in Sweden in September 2013.

But the outcomes and effects of donations from live and deceased donors are yet to be compared.

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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.

The birth shows that pregnancies involving a uterus from a deceased donor are viable, said study leader Dr. Dani Ejzenberg. Most obviously, doctors do not have to worry about the donor's heath. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.

Before this breakthrough, women suffering from infertility due to congenital abnormalities, cancer, or other illnesses had few options aside from surrogacy or adoption. The live donors need to be family members of the woman and be willing to donate, as per the current practice.

Still, the advantage is that the surgery takes place only for a person.

The patient was a 32-year-old woman with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes the vagina or uterus to either under-develop or not develop at all.

The woman's eggs were fertilised before the operation and were implanted only seven months after the transplant.

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The donor was a 45 year old woman who died of sub-arachnoid haemorrhage (a type of stroke).

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

After surgery, the anonymous recipient remained in intensive care for two days before spending another six days on a specialised transplant ward.

The woman received five immunosuppression drugs, as well as antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatment and aspirin while in hospital, and immunosuppression was continued up until the woman gave birth.

It detailed how five months after the transplant, the uterus showed no signs of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the recipient was having regular menstruation.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal.

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It also "eliminates the main challenge", Singer added, "which is finding a matching donor and risking the lives of live donors who have to otherwise undergo a major surgery to remove their uterus".

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