First baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

Brazilian doctors said the first baby has been born to a woman with a uterus that was transplanted from a deceased donor, reports say.

"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", Saso stated.

Five months after the transplant her body showed no signs of rejecting the uterus and her fertilised eggs were implanted two months later.

In this study, recently deceased women who had given consent for organ transplant were screened based on previous ability to give birth, blood type, and a lack of any history of sexual disease.

In a transplant surgery that lasted more than ten hours, doctors had to connect the donor's uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.

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The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the U.S., the Czech Republic and Turkey. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first US baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus. Until now, the only successful uterus transplants have involved living donors who are typically family members of the recipients.

Dr Dani Ejzenberg, a gynecologist of the University of São Paulo who worked on the paper, told Newsweek that the baby's motor and neurological skills are developing normally, and the mother hasn't experienced any complications.

The first childbirth following a uterus transplant occurred in 2013 in Sweden, where a total of eight children have been born thanks to transplants from live donors.

The recipient had her first menstruation 37 days after the uterus transplant, and continued to have regular cycles after that.

Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study. It's a rare genetic condition, affecting about 4500 women worldwide, in which they are born without a uterus. Likewise, the mother's health required months of ongoing monitoring to ensure that she didn't suffer any adverse effects from having the uterus transplanted and then later removed.

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Professor Lois Salamonsen, research group head of endometrial remodelling and Adjunct Professor at Monash University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said she had received a few calls form Australian women over the years asking why uterine transplantation wasn't done in Australia.

Her baby girl was born via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, weighing 2.5kg (about 6lbs) and the transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies. Almost a year later, mother and baby are both healthy. Those transplants can only be done for women who find a donor, who must undergo a complicated surgery and lengthy recovery, Dr. Tullius said.

This technique has been done eleven times before using the uterus of a living donor. It was the first successful uterine transplant in Latin America. "It may give us a bigger supply of organs than we thought were possible". The causes vary, but for one in 500 women, uterine problems are the cause.

O'Neill says the work on transplantation is important both as an option for infertile couples and to increase scientific understanding of the uterus and pregnancy.

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