Donor womb success

Healthy baby from uterus of a de­ceased donor a first

The Witness - - NEWS -

LON­DON — A woman in Brazil who re­ceived a womb trans­planted from a de­ceased donor has given birth to a baby girl in the first suc­cess­ful case of its kind, doc­tors re­ported.

The case, pub­lished in the Lancet med­i­cal jour­nal, in­volved con­nect­ing veins from the donor uterus with the re­cip­i­ent’s veins, as well as link­ing ar­ter­ies, lig­a­ments and vagi­nal canals.

It comes af­ter 10 pre­vi­ously known cases of uterus trans­plants from de­ceased donors — in the United States, the Czech Repub­lic and Tur­key — failed to pro­duce a live birth.

The girl born in the Brazil­ian case was de­liv­ered via Cae­sarean sec­tion at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2 550 grams, the case study said.

Dani Ejzen­berg, a doc­tor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo Univer­sity hospi­tal who led the re­search, said the trans­plant — car­ried out in Septem­ber 2016 when the re­cip­i­ent was 32 — shows the tech­nique is fea­si­ble and could of­fer women with uter­ine in­fer­til­ity ac­cess to a larger pool of po­ten­tial donors.

The cur­rent norm for re­ceiv­ing a womb trans­plant is that the or­gan would come from a live fam­ily mem­ber will­ing to do­nate it. “The num­bers of peo­ple will­ing and com­mit­ted to do­nate or­gans upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, of­fer­ing a much wider po­ten­tial donor pop­u­la­tion,” Ejzen­berg said in a state­ment about the re­sults.

She added, how­ever, that the out­comes and ef­fects of womb do­na­tions from live and de­ceased donors have yet to be com­pared, and said the tech­nique could still be re­fined and op­ti­mised.

The first baby born af­ter a live donor womb trans­plant was in Swe­den in 2013. Sci­en­tists have so far re­ported a to­tal of 39 pro­ce­dures of this kind, re­sult­ing in 11 live births.

Ex­perts es­ti­mate that in­fer­til­ity af­fects around 10 to 15% of cou­ples of re­pro­duc­tive age world­wide. Of this group, around one in 500 women have uter­ine prob­lems.

Be­fore uterus trans­plants be­came pos­si­ble, the only op­tions to have a child were adop­tion or sur­ro­gacy.

In the Brazil­ian case, the re­cip­i­ent had been born with­out a uterus due to a con­di­tion called Mayer-Rok­i­tan­sky-Küster-Hauser syn­drome. The donor was 45 and died of a stroke.

Five months af­ter the trans­plant, Ejzen­berg’s team wrote, the uterus showed no signs of re­jec­tion. The woman’s pre­vi­ously fer­tilised and frozen eggs were im­planted af­ter seven months and 10 days later she was con­firmed preg­nant.

The baby girl is now over seven months old, breast­feed­ing and weigh­ing over seven kilo­grams. — Reuters.

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