Healthy Baby Born To Woman Who Received World’s First Deceased Womb Transplant

The report of a Brazilian woman giving birth to a healthy baby girl a year ago, post a 10-hour long uterus transplant surgery, has added another feather in the medical world's cap and given a ray of hope to women with uterus infertility.

The transplant womb was taken from a mother-of-three who had died from bleeding on the brain.

The 32-year-old woman, who underwent the transplant in September, 2016, was born without a uterus due to Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which affects the reproductive system. And just seven months after the operation, doctors began in vitro fertilization, through which the woman's own fertilized eggs - which had been harvested prior to the transplant surgery - were transferred to her new uterus. She gave birth to a baby girl on December 15, 2017, by caesarean section.

This is a first success for transplantation of the uterus collected post-mortem. However, a woman who received a live uterine transplant gave birth to a baby boy in 2017, making it a first for the U.S.

The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the USA, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

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.

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The transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies. They also note that it could potentially make uterus transplants more widely available, especially in countries that already regulate and distribute organ donations from deceased donors.

After surgery, the anonymous recipient remained in intensive care for two days before spending another six days on a specialised transplant ward. Uterus transplants have been happening via live donors since 2013 with 11 livebirths so far.

These are still early days for uterine transplants, says Kate O'Neill, co-lead investigator for the University of Pennsylvania's uterus transplant program, who was not part of the work in Brazil. Today, the girl and the mother are in excellent health, according to the hospital of São Paulo. It is estimated that one woman out of 500 would be the victim of an abnormality of the uterus into the world.

Five months after transplantation, the uterus showed no signs of rejection, and the recipient started having periods. Babies have been born after womb transplants from live donors, typically from a relative, but using organs from dead donors could widen the... Previous live donor transplantation have waited at least a year before attempting a pregnancy. In addition, through implanting the fertilised eggs sooner they reduced the amount of time taking immunosuppression drugs, which could help to reduce side effects and costs.

"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. The only complication during pregnancy was a kidney infection, which was treated with antibiotics.

At the age of seven months, the baby continued to breastfeed and weighed 15lbs and 14oz (7.2 kilos).

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