First baby born using uterus transplanted from dead donor a 'resounding success'

06 December, 2018, 03:56 | Author: Kara Nash
  • 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

A mother has given birth to a healthy baby girl after surgeons implanted a womb in her body from a deceased donor. About a dozen babies have now been born from uteruses provided by living donors-usually the recipient's mother, sister or friend-out of about 50 attempts worldwide.

Before uterus transplants became possible, the only options to have a child were adoption or surrogacy, Reuters noted.

There have been 39 womb transplants using a live donor, including mothers donating their womb to their daughter, resulting in 11 babies.

It is hoped that this, the first ever uterine transplant involving a deceased donor and the first uterine transplantation in Latin America, could enable more women struggling with fertility issues to undergo treatment without having to wait for a live donor.

The 10 previous pregnancies from deceased donors have failed.

In the us, around 10 percent of women aged between 15 to 44 struggle with fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With live donors often in short supply, it's hoped this bold breakthrough from Brazil could offer hope to the 1 in 500 people who experience infertility problems from uterine anomalies.

The woman - a 32-year-old psychologist - was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team's lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.

He described the procedure as a "medical milestone".

The report concludes that the results establish proof-of-concept for "treating uterine infertility by transplantation from a deceased donor, opening a path to a healthy pregnancy for all women with uterine factor infertility, without the need of living donors or live donor surgery". "The numbers of people willing to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population".


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

She added, however, that the outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared, and said the technique could still be refined and optimised.

A womb transplant is performed by removing the womb from the donor and transplanting it into the recipient by connecting the two major veins and a series of arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals, according to The Lancet.

Five months after the surgery, the medical team observed no signs of rejection, noting that ultrasound scans were normal and the recipient experienced regular menstruation.

The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. After the transplant, her period returned after 37 days. The baby was born on December 15, 2017, through a C-section, and is believed to be the first to be born with a uterus from a deceased donor.

Women who would be candidates for a uterus transplant would have absolute uterine infertility, meaning they don't have a uterus or that it is too damaged to support a pregnancy.

At age seven months and 12 days - when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication -the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kilograms.

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

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