The First Baby Born from a Cadaver’s Womb Turns One
The first woman to receive a womb from a deceased person has given birth to a healthy baby girl. The 10-hour transplant operation and subsequential fertility treatment were performed in São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016. The thirty-two-year-old mother was born without a womb. This is the first case of a healthy baby being born from a cadaver’s womb.
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Baby Born From A Cadaver’s Womb Turns One
As reported in The Lancet, the womb donor was a mother of three in her mid-forties 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 failing to form properly. Luckily, her ovaries were healthy enough for doctors to be able to remove eggs, and fertilize them with the father-to-be’s sperm and freeze them. About six weeks later, she started menstruating, after seven months, the fertilized eggs were implanted, and, nine months later, after a healthy pregnancy, the 6 lbs baby girl was delivered via Cesarean section on 15 December 2017.
The first uterus transplants from live donors were a huge medical milestone, with the first live womb transplant baby being born in Sweden in 2013, using her grandmother’s uterus, and since then there have been 10 other live donor births. But donors are extremely hard to find, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends, and the surgical procedure of removing the womb from a living person can be very dangerous. However, a healthy baby being born from a cadaver’s womb is giving new hope to childless couples.
This medical breakthrough opens up the possibility of harvesting wombs from cadaver donors in the same way as other organs, ending the need for live donors.
Dr Dani Ejzenberg, of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo has said that the numbers of people willing to donate organs upon their own deaths are much higher than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population.
Over the past few years, doctors have attempted ten womb transplants from cadaver donors in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, but none have been successful.
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