Ever Baby Born Following A Uterus Transplant From A Deceased Donor

07 December, 2018, 23:53 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Image    The transplant surgery lasted 10.5 hours. File pic

Doctors say the woman had a healthy and fairly typical pregnancy, before giving birth via c-section to a six-pound baby girl a year ago. The donated uterus was also removed during the cesarean section.

Why this matters: Expanding the pool of donors to include the dead as well as the living could help increase the number of available uteruses.

A woman in Brazil has successfully given birth after receiving a womb from a dead donor, the first time such a procedure has been successful. Uterine transplantation began in other countries where there are legal or ethical barriers to surrogacy-getting someone else to carry the pregnancy-O'Neill says.

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There have been 10 other uterus transplants from deceased donors performed in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey, but this one in Brazil is the first to result in a live birth.

Researchers point out that the latest landmark birth may create more options for women in the future, since live donors can be hard to find. Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the USA have failed.

Uterine transplants from living donors have occurred before. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.

In the USA, around 10 percent of women aged between 15 to 44 struggle with fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One in 500 women have uterine anomalies due to congenital anomalies, or through unexpected malformation, hysterectomy, or infection.

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.

There have been 10 uterus transplants from deceased donors attempted in the USA, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, but this is the first one which resulted in a live birth. Transplants from living donors are scheduled and can take place in adjacent operating rooms.

The baby girl was delivered last December by a woman born without a uterus because of a rare syndrome.


Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.

The donor was 45 years old and died of bleeding on the brain, caused by a stroke.

It was then transplanted to the woman who was given medication to weaken her immune system so her body would not reject the uterus.

Surgeons spent 10.5 hours plumbing in the organ by connecting veins, arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals.

After surgery, the recipient stayed in intensive care for two days, then spent six days on a specialised transplant ward.

She was given five immuno-suppressant drugs -which she took throughout her pregnancy - antibiotics and anti-blood clotting treatment.

Research has since continued, with informed volunteers still opting to go through the discomfort and potential trauma in the hopes of giving birth.

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

"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.

Doctor Andraus (far left) was the head transplant surgeon involved in the surgery to transplant the donated uterus.

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