First Baby Born After Uterus Transplant From Dead Donor

The medical team after the baby's birth

In a major breakthrough, a woman from Brazil has become the first in the world to have given birth to a child after a uterus transplant from a deceased donor.

The healthy baby born last December in Brazil is one of 11 babies born using a transplanted womb, but the 1-year-old made history as the first baby ever to be born using the uterus of a deceased donor.

British expert Andrew Shennan, professor of obstetrics at King's College London, said: "Uterine transplant and subsequent pregnancies, including from live donors, have previously been reported, but this is the first case of a successful pregnancy from a deceased donor".

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.

This was the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.

The transplant operation in Sao Paulo in September 2016 involved connecting the donor's organ to the woman's veins and arteries, ligiments and birth canal, Nine News reports.

After the recipient's womb and ovarian are functioning, the embryos are transplanted into her uterus - generally at least one year after the transplant.

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.

Knowing this could make all the difference not just when it comes to deceased donations, but live ones as well.

Eleven previous births have used a transplanted uterus, but they were from a living-not a deceased-woman, who was usually a relative or a friend, according to The Associated Press.

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Infertility, in general, affects about 15% of couples of reproductive age.

The earlier 10 similar transplants from dead donors attempted in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey failed or resulted in miscarriage.

Pregnancy was confirmed 10 days after implantation, said the medical team.

The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth at 35 weeks and three days by cesarean section.

Uterine transplants from living donors have occurred before.

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

She began having periods after six weeks and after seven months, fertilised eggs were implanted.

"The results establish proof-of-concept for treating uterine infertility by transplantation from a deceased donor, opening a path to healthy pregnancy for all women with uterine factor infertility, without need of living donors or live donor surgery", Brazilian researchers said in the study published Tuesday in the medical journal The Lancet. When the researchers wrote the paper describing the case - about seven months after the birth - both mom and the baby girl were healthy.

"The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population", Ejzenberg said in a statement about the results, describing the procedure as a "medical milestone".

Some who were born without a uterus, other had unexplained malformations, of sustained damaged during childbirth or infection.

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