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First baby born after deceased womb transplant in Brazil

07 December 2018

In this case, a cesarean section was performed for birth at 35 weeks gestation, and along with the delivery of an nearly 6 pound healthy baby girl, the uterus was also removed. The transplanted uterus was removed during the cesarean delivery and showed no anomalies. "While uterine transplantation sounds extreme, it can be indicated in women born without a uterus, or in women who have a non-functional or surgically-absent uterus".

A Brazilian woman was the first to give birth after receiving a womb transplant from a deceased donor, Reuters reported.

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

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In the past few years surgeons have attempted 10 other womb transplants from deceased donors in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, but none have been successful.

Researchers point out that the latest landmark birth may create more options for women in the future, since live donors can be hard to find.

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Dr Wellington Andraus of the department of Gastroenterology at the University of Sao Paulo who also worked on the case study told Newsweek the woman's story is a "source of hope" for patients struggling with fertility caused by the uterus or a lack thereof.

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.

The first childbirth following uterine transplantation from living donors occurred in Sweden in September 2013 and were also published in The Lancet.

Since then there have been 39 such procedures, resulting in 11 live births.

In the US, around 10 percent of women aged between 15 to 44 struggle with fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 10-15 per cent of couples with infertility problems, one in 500 women have uterine abnormalities.

"Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility", said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.

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Uterus donations right now are only available to women who have family members that can donate to them. Transplants from living donors are scheduled and can take place in adjacent operating rooms.

The 32-year-old mother suffers from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome and was born without a uterus. Five months after the uterus showed no signs of rejection, the doctors were able to implant the woman's previously fertilised and frozen eggs and 10 days later she was confirmed pregnant.

The uterus came from a 45-year-old woman who died from a brain hemorrhage.

Part of the challenge in transplanting a uterus from a deceased donor is that the process - obtaining an organ, matching it to a recipient based on blood type and other qualities, and completing the operation - can take time.

Six weeks after the uterine transplant, which was performed in 2016, the Brazilian woman started having periods again. Immunosuppression was continued outside of hospital until the birth.

Five months was given to ensure that the uterus transplant was successful.

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Although uterus transplants are a growing area of medicine, they remain highly experimental and are very hard surgeries to complete. And it's possible that patients won't need as many immunosuppressants as they now receive to stave off organ rejection.

First baby born after deceased womb transplant in Brazil