While babies have been born before using live donors, this is a medical first.
A woman in Brazil has given birth to a healthy child, thanks to a donor uterus from a deceased woman. The new mother, who is 32-years-old, had been born without a properly formed uterus and this birth is a world first in regard to uteruses from deceased donors.
According to BBC News, the woman was given a donor uterus from a deceased woman in 2016. The transplant took 10-hours to perform and the woman then had to undergo further fertility treatment. Approximately six weeks after the fertility treatment began, the woman started to menstruate. Seven months after that, she had fertilized eggs implanted into her new uterus and the waiting game truly began. Then, on December 15, 2017, the woman gave birth to a healthy six-pound (2.5-kilogram) baby which was delivered by Cesarean section.
The woman, a psychologist, was initially apprehensive about the procedure, according to AP News.
“This was the most important thing in her life,” said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team’s lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.
“Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy.”
While there have been cases of uterus transplants, the fact that this pregnancy resulted from a uterus donated from a deceased person is what makes this event so unique.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a woman recently gave birth to a baby in India that was the result of a donor uterus. The difference with this case, though, was the fact that the uterus was from a live donor. In that instance, the donor was the woman’s mother. The first recorded case of a living uterus transplant that resulted in a pregnancy actually happened in 2014, after a woman received a live donor transplant that was performed at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, according to CNN.
As BBC News points out, there have been 39 successful uterus transplants that have been performed using live donor uteruses. Many of the donors, in these instances, have been mothers donating their uteruses to their daughters. Out of these 39 transplants, 11 babies have been born as a result.
However, when it comes to uteruses from deceased donors, the news is not good. Out of 10 previous transplants using uteruses from deceased donors, not a single child has been produced. There have been recorded pregnancies but these have all resulted in miscarriages. This is what makes the birth in Brazil such welcome news.
“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,” said Dr. Ejzenberg.
“However, the need for a live donor is a major limitation as donors are rare, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends.”
Dr. Srdjan Saso, from Imperial College London, found the results “extremely exciting” due to the fact there is the potential for infertile women to access viable uteruses from a “wider potential donor population.” He also suggests that these sorts of transplants apply “lower costs and avoids live donors’ surgical risks.”
The uterus was taken from a woman aged in her mid-40s who had died as a result of bleeding in the brain. The woman who received this valuable gift was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, meaning her uterus had not formed properly. However, she still did have functioning ovaries, so eggs were able to be harvested.
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