A woman born without a womb, who received a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, has given birth to a live baby.
And the wonderful news is a world first.
The team of Brazilian doctors who did the incredible transplant has shared their achievement in The Lancet medical journal.
While the baby girl was actually born a year ago, the details of her birth have only just been published.
And they are incredible.
This is the world's first baby born using a uterus transplant from a dead donor. https://bit.ly/2SpFJUe
Posted by USA TODAY Video on Wednesday, 5 December 2018
A world first
After a rare syndrome meant she was born without a womb, the baby’s mother (who isn’t named in the journal) was the recipient of a donor uterus.
After she started menstruating, and doctors were satisfied her body wasn’t going to reject the organ, the 32-year-old then received IVF, and got pregnant!
But what’s even more amazing here, is that uterus she received was from a deceased donor.
While there have been eleven babies born from live uterine transplants since 2013, this is the first time a baby has come into the world from a uterus donated by a deceased person.
According to the New York Times, there have been ten other attempted uterus transplants from deceased donors by doctors in the US, Turkey and the Czech Republic. All have failed.
More uterine transplants means more babies
The exciting news of the successful transplant and live birth means that more donor organs could be made available to women who need a uterine transplant.
At present uterine transplants generally only happen if the woman has a willing and living donor. As such, they are rare.
Lots of things we don’t understand
While the news has the potential to change lives, uterine transplants are not about to become commonplace just yet as there is still much testing to be done.
That said, the researchers behind the Brazilian study are already planning two more transplants from deceased patients.
Dr Cesar Diaz, who co-authored the study’s commentary, wrote, “There are still lots of things we don’t understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant. These transplants will help us understand implantation and every stage of pregnancy.”
Mum and bub doing well
As for the woman and her baby who are making headlines around the world, she and her baby are said to be going well.
The woman did, however, need to have her donor uterus removed after her C-section delivery. This was so the new mother wouldn’t have to take any more organ anti-rejection medicines.
Dr Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team’s lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, said that the baby’s mother was initially hesitant to go through with the transplant, but it ended up being “the most important thing in her life.”
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