05 December 2017

Uterus transplantation: the first success in the USA

An American woman born without a uterus successfully carried and gave birth to a child

Anna Kerman, XX2 century, based on Medical Xpress: First baby from a uterus transplant in the US born in Dallas

The first baby born in the United States in an implanted uterus was born. Earlier, several similar cases were registered in Sweden: women born without a uterus were able to carry and give birth to their own babies.

In the USA, the birth took place at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. A statement about this on Friday was made by the press secretary of the medical center Craig Civale (Craig Civale). However, he refused to provide any details regarding the course of the patient's pregnancy. The name of the young mother is also kept secret for privacy reasons. It is only known that the child was born by Caesarean section.

A few years earlier, Baylor University was recruiting for a study in which 10 women had to be transplanted donor uterus. In October 2016, the hospital's press service reported that 4 patients underwent appropriate operations, but three implanted uterus had to be removed due to poor blood supply.

The hospital's management also does not report how many women have become recipients of donor queens since October 2016, but the news published in Time magazine indicates that eight such operations have been performed in total and now another patient is expecting a child.

The Swedish gynecologist Mats Brennström is considered to be the first doctor in the world to deliver a patient with a transplanted uterus. Last year, he helped to give birth to two more babies whose mothers underwent a uterus transplant.

In total, at least 16 uterus transplants were performed in the world, although in some cases the donor organ had to be removed due to postoperative complications.

Both living and deceased women can act as uterus donors. It is claimed that the Baylor University study used donor organs of both types. Interestingly, in some cases, donors were guided by altruistic considerations and were in no way connected with the recipients. During the operations carried out in Sweden, organs obtained from living donors, usually mothers or sisters of patients, were used.

Doctors hope that uterus transplantation will give a chance for a successful pregnancy to several thousand women born without this organ. To participate in the study conducted at Baylor University, participants had to be between the ages of 20 and 35 and have healthy ovaries. All patients underwent IVF procedure, which included egg collection, fertilization and freezing of subsequent embryos. The embryos were preserved in frozen form until the participant of the work was ready to "try" to get pregnant with the help of a donor uterus.

According to the study design, at least a year should have passed between uterus transplantation and embryo transplantation – during this time, doctors could make sure that the donor uterus had taken root and was working normally.

However, doctors do not plan to leave this organ to patients for the rest of their lives. In order for the transplanted uterus not to be rejected by the immune system, women are forced to take immunosuppressants. Therefore, after one or two successful pregnancies, the donor organs will be removed from the body.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine on Friday released a statement in which the successful birth of a baby carried in an implanted uterus was called "another important milestone in the history of reproductive medicine."

Currently, it is planned to develop clinical recommendations for the management of patients who were born without a uterus, but who want to carry a child on their own.

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