Doctors Announce First Ever Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted From Dead Body

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For the very first time, a baby has been born following a uterus transplant from a deceased donor, as reported today in the medical journal The Lancet.

The 32-year-old patient suffered from a rare genetic disorder called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), which caused her uterus not to develop.

He said any doubts he had about the potential importance of uterus transplants were erased after meeting the mother of the first baby born after a live donor uterus transplant.

Months later, the doctors implanted a fertilized egg that had been preserved in-vitro and in December 2017, a baby girl was delivered via C-section.

"The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women with access to suitable donors and the needed medical facilities", Ejzenberg told the BBC. But all of the other successful deliveries so far have been made possible by living donors - often women who opt to donate their uterus to a close friend or family member without one.

"Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental", he said.

The procedure involved connecting the donor uterus to the veins, arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals of the 32-year-old. 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.

She was given five immuno-suppressant drugs -which she took throughout her pregnancy - antibiotics and anti-blood clotting treatment.

But the 10 previous transplants from a dead donor have failed or resulted in miscarriage. The first of these occurred in Sweden in 2013 and since then, 11 babies have been born after similar procedures, according to the Lancet.

The Brazilian doctors are confident this successful attempt will give more options for uterus transplants in the future, having already planned two more transplants as a part of their study.

After surgery, the recipient stayed in intensive care for two days, then spent six days on a specialised transplant ward.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly. Fifteen were fertilised, with 8 resulting in embryos that were subsequently preserved for later implantation. Uterine transplants can sidestep these issues and allow women who otherwise wouldn't be able to have the chance to carry their own pregnancies.

Since live uterus donors are a limitation, the report shows that uterus transplants from deceased donors are feasible and may open access for all women with uterine problems, without the need for live donors, as is the practice now.

Later the doctors fertilised her eggs with the father-to-be's sperm and freezed them.

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), said: "The IFFS welcomes this announcement which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility". When the researchers wrote the paper describing the case - about seven months after the birth - both mom and the baby girl were healthy.

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