A great history has been made in the medical field after a woman who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor some months back and has given birth to a healthy baby, which researchers reported on Wednesday.
This amazing and successful operation was performed in September 2016 at Sao Paulo, Brazil. According to a study published in The Lancet which now shows that such transplants are realisable and could help thousands of women who have been unable to have children due to uterine problems. The baby girl was born in December 2017, the medical journal who announced this great news said.
Medically speaking, before now the only options available to women faced with the so-called medical uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother. The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor took place in 2014 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.
Records state that there are many more women in need of these transplants than there are potential live donors, this made the medical doctors go into research and experiments to find out if that same procedure and pattern could work successfully with the use of a uterus of a dead woman.
A total number of ten attempts have been made in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey before the announcement of a successful one was reported on Wednesday.
Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo, said the medical challenge of infertility affects 10 to 15 per cent of couples all over the world. Among this group, one in 500 women has problems with their uterus as a result of malformation, hysterectomy, or infection — that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term. Results being gathered provides a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility”.
Doctor Dani described the procedure as a “medical milestone”. as he explained in a statement that “The total number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population”.
The 32-year-old lucky recipient of this donor was born without a uterus as a result of a rare syndrome. Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilization resulting in eight fertilized eggs, which were preserved through freezing. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke. Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than ten hours but was later successful.
Medical Proof of Concept
The doctors and surgical team had to first connect the donor’s uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal f the recipient in other to prevent her body from rejecting the new organ that is yet to come into her system. She was later given five different drugs, alongside some antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments, and aspirin.
After the period of five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly. The fertilized eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.
Asides a minor kidney infection which has been treated with antibiotics during the 32nd week, the pregnancy was absolutely normal. After nearly 36 weeks a baby girl weighing 2.5 kilograms (about six pounds) was delivered via a caesarean section.
Mother and baby were said to have left the hospital three days later. The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs. At age seven months and 12 days, when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kilograms.
Dr Stdjan Saso has actually requested that the authors be congratulated, and also awarded an honorary clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London, describing the findings as “extremely exciting”.
Richard Kennedy, who is the president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution which was, “Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental,” he said.