Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:14 - Updated Wed, 05 Dec 2018 13:14
First baby born after deceased womb transplant
A healthy baby girl has been born using a womb transplanted from a dead body.
Send by email
To share this news by email, fill out the information below and click Send
To report errors in the texts of articles published, fill out the information below and click Send
The 10-hour transplant operation - and later fertility treatment - took place in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. The mother, 32, was born without a womb.
There have been 39 womb transplants using a live donor, including mothers donating their womb to their daughter, resulting in 11 babies.
But the 10 previous transplants from a dead donor have failed or resulted in miscarriage.
In this case, the womb donor was a mother of three in her mid-40s who died from bleeding on the brain.
The recipient had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, which affects about one in every 4,500 women and results in the vagina and uterus (womb) failing to form properly.
However, her ovaries were fine. And doctors were able to remove eggs, fertilise them with the father-to-be's sperm and freeze them.
The woman was given drugs that weakened her immune system to prevent her body attacking and rejecting the transplant.
And about six weeks later, she started having periods.
After seven months, the fertilised eggs were implanted.
And, after a normal pregnancy, a 6lb (2.5kg) baby was delivered by Caesarean section on 15 December 2017.
Dr Dani Ejzenberg, from Hospital das Clínicas in São Paulo, said: "The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women with access to suitable donors and the needed medical facilities.
"However, the need for a live donor is a major limitation as donors are rare, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends."
Dr Srdjan Saso, from Imperial College London, said the results were "extremely exciting".
"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks."
- 12/10/2018 11:38:01
Russian officials are investigating the cause of a booster problem that forced a Soyuz rocket capsule to make an emergency landing just after launch.
- 12/05/2018 14:45:20
Nasa is sending a helicopter to Mars, in the first test of a heavier-than-air aircraft on another planet.
- 19/01/2018 13:21:40
Scientists have taken a step towards one of the biggest goals in medicine - a universal blood test for cancer.