The world’s first baby from a dead donor’s womb
The world's first baby from a dead donor's womb is a little miracle and a medical breakthrough.
A woman in Brazil delivered a baby girl from a womb transplanted from a dead donor. This is the first successful case its kind involving a uterine transplant baby. Ten previous cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors did not produce a live birth.
This medical breakthrough is published in The Lancet medical journal. Here, veins, ligaments and arteries from the donor uterus had to be connected with the recipient.
The baby girl was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days. She weighed 2,550 grams (nearly 6 lbs).
Her mother, the recipient, had been born without a uterus. To conceive, her previously fertilised and frozen eggs were implanted. She was confirmed pregnant 10 days later.
Meanwhile, the womb donor was 45 and died from a stroke.
The current norm for a womb transplant is that the organ is donated from a living family member. “The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than live donors. This offers women with uterine infertility access to a larger pool of potential donors,” said Dani Ejzenberg.
Dani is a doctor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo University hospital who led the research. She adds that outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared.
“The (womb transplant) technique can still be refined and optimised,” said Dani.
The first baby born after a live donor womb transplant was in 2013. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.
Experts estimate that infertility affects around 10% to 15% of couples of reproductive age worldwide. Around one in 500 women in this group has uterine problems.
Before uterus transplants became possible, options for childless couples were adoption or surrogacy.
Five months after the transplant, the uterus showed no signs of rejection. Her ultrasound scans are also normal. The recipient is also having regular periods.
At seven months and 20 days, the baby girl was continuing to breastfeed and weighed 7.2 kg (16 lb).
This little miracle, the world’s first successful uterine transplant baby, gives hope to childless couples around the world.
Also read: Trying to conceive