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The World’s First Baby Born from Womb Transplant

womb transplant baby

Image credit: The Lancet. The first baby born from a transplanted womb was premature, but is in good health

It is reported that the first recipient of a womb transplant has given birth to a baby, which is regarded as unprecedented move in the infertility treatment.

This anonymous mother, aged thirty-seven, is the patient of Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuester-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, who is  born with part or all of her womb or vagina non-existent. Although the artificial vaginas for treatment of some forms of MRKH were successfully made earlier this year, it is still a challenging task to replicate organ like a womb.

It is hoped that Professor Matts Brännström and his team from the University of Gothenburg would give a report in The Lancet about a successful birth from a transplanted uterus.

As announced by Professor Matts Brännström not long ago, his team had succeeded in transplanting uteri from nine donors into women with MRKH syndrome or hysterectomies. Among these transplants, one of them involved in that from mother to daughter and seven of these transplants seem quite successful, because those women started to menstruate within 2-3 months after the operation. However, in the other two cases, owing to clotting or infection the hysterectomies had to be performed.

Even with promising prospect of the transplants, the immune systems of women sometimes began to reject the new wombs – three times in the instance of the mother receiving transplant. But with modification of the corticosteroid drug application, such problems were under control in all cases. As these drugs have side-effects, unfortunately the wombs would be removed once the recipients are intended to bear no more children.

A year after the completion of 10-hour surgery, an early stage IVF embryo was inserted in the mother with her own eggs used, because her MRKH syndrome did not affect her ovaries.

With interview with The Lancet, Braennstroem said that their success was attributed to the ten-year intensive animal research and surgical training offered by his team. It was believed that it would make it possible to treat many young females suffering from uterine infertility all over the world.

As Brännström noted, absolute uterine factor infertility was thought to the only major type of female infertility which was untreatable yet in people’s minds. However, the situation had been changed, although a lot of work should be done before the success rate of such treatments was satisfactory in regard to widely acknowledged procedure and concerns about the health impact for live donors.

A caesarian was done eight weeks prematurely because of pre-eclampsia, luckily both mother and son were all right a month later.

The transplanted womb was offered by the friend of the recipient, who was 61 years old and had experienced menopause seven years earlier, thus going for a much larger number of potential donors than the availability when only pre-menopausal wombs were viable.

Apart from Brännström’s team, there were also two hospitals trying to conduct womb transplants, but both failed to get successful.