Scientists report the first successful birth of a baby from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor. Breakthrough can open the way for many more women with infertility problems.
For some women receiving a uterus, transplantation is the only way to get pregnant. So far, however, donations have been limited to donations from volunteers.
The low number of donated organs makes the progress of the procedure slow
The donation of the uterus is a serious decision and a complicated procedure. So far only 39 transplants have been carried out worldwide, resulting in only 11 births since 2013.
Being able to use the uterus of deceased patients opens up the possibility of having more organs, but in the ten attempts so far only this new birth has led to a successful birth.
Scientists from the University of San Paolo have published the case for successful transplantation and birth in The Lancet magazine.
Transplant donor, born without a uterus
The parent and donor-recipient parent is a 32-year-old woman who was born without a uterus as a result of Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH).
TThe donor is a 42-year-old woman who died of a stroke.
A few months before transplantation, the recipient goes through an IVF procedure and has 8 frozen eggs. Transplantation of the uterus takes 10.5 hours.
A healthy baby born without complications
The recipient does not show signs of organ rejection and even after five months he or she has regular menstruation. Seven months after intensive surgery, fertilized ova are implanted and a healthy pregnancy continues.
The baby girl was born early in 35 weeks by caesarean section, a healthy baby weighed to 2.5 kilograms. The proven uterus is also removed during a cesarean section.
The use of deceased donors opens doors for greater fertility treatment
In the months after birth, neither the baby nor his mother had any problems.
"Using deceased donors can significantly increase access to this treatment, and results show us a new opportunity for women with maternal infertility," said Dr. Dennis Eisenberg.
Dr. Ejzenberg, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, led the study.
"The first transplants of the uterus from living donors are a medical stage, creating the opportunity for the birth of many infertile women with access to appropriate donors and the necessary medical facilities.
Nonetheless, the need for a living donor is a major limitation, as donors are rare, usually ready and eligible family members or close friends.
The number of people willing and committed to donating organs to their own death is far greater than those of living donors offering a much wider potential donor population. "
Doctors continue the research
While doctors, excited by the results, warn that the procedure is still in the early stages and will require more research and collaboration before it becomes a widespread opportunity for infertile women.
Writing on Linkedin Dr Antonio Pelicher, IVI-Roma, Italy noted;
"Studies to be done in this area (whether from living or deceased donors) should maximize birth rates, minimize the risks for patients involved in procedures (donor, recipient and unborn child) organ availability.
With the expansion of the field, the number of procedures will increase and this will allow the community to identify different types of research projects, such as comparative studies (ideally randomized) or long promising series.
In an expanding field such as uterine transplantation, the role of collaborative networks and societies such as the International Society for Uterine Transplantation or new interest groups in existing scientific societies will be crucial. "