The world's firstbaby born using a womb transplanted from a dead woman is a breakthrough in the field of obstetrics and a great advantage for women combating infertility, say Indian doctors. She has a disease called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome, commonly known as congenital uterine absence. The deceased uterus donor was a 45-year old woman who died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage. She received transplanted embryos seven months after the procedure, in April 2017, from which she became pregnant.
The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth at 35 weeks and three days by cesarean section.
The use of a deceased donor is a significant achievement that could greatly increase access to the procedure, said Stefan Tullius, chief of transplant surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has participated in living donor uterus transplant surgery.
"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", said Ejzenberg, according to Reuters.
The medical team at the Hospital das Clinicas holding the first baby to be born following a uterus transplant from a deceased donor.
The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the USA, the Czech Republic and Turkey. Previously, with live donors, doctors have waited at least a year following the transplant to begin trying for a pregnancy.
They also note that it could potentially make uterus transplantsmore widely available, especially in countries that already regulate and distribute organ donations from deceased donors.
The whole field of uterus transplantation is in its early days.
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In a surgery lasting 10.5 hours, the uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient, where it was connected to the recipient's veins and arteries as well as her ligaments and vaginal canals.
But Dr. Tullius said surrogacy comes with its own challenges, from compensation to the ethics of asking a woman to undergo the rigours of pregnancy. The baby weighed almost six pounds.
Few but successful births have taken place using donor uteruses from live patients in Sweden and the United States, with 39 transplants and 11 births.
She received five immunosuppression drugs to prevent her body rejecting the new organ, as well as other treatments to combat infection and blood clotting.
In a commentary published with the Lancet case study, two researchers suggest that as more successful uterus transplant surgeries are performed, it may be possible to expand the eligibility criteria. The donated uterus was then removed from the patient after the birth.
No. In order to keep the uterus after birth, the mother would have to continue taking immune system suppression medications which can pose risks.
Although uterus transplants are a growing area of medicine, they remain highly experimental and are very hard surgeries to complete. "Infertility can have a devastating impact upon couples, particularly for women with absolute uterine factor infertility, for which there has been no effective treatment to date and - for some of these women, womb transplantation is the only way they can carry a pregnancy", stated Mr J Richard Smith, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Clinical Lead at Womb Transplant UK.
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