Uterine transplant: the revolution?
A woman born without a uterus could still give birth: it happened thanks to a uterus transplant. The woman has thus become the first person to give birth to a living child thanks to a uterus of a dead donor.
The first time in history
The extraordinary result in Brazil was published by the scientific journal Lancet. The baby's birth – weighing 2 kilos – marks another milestone in fertility treatment after experts began to doubt that using a dead donor would be possible after the ten previous failed attempts for miscarriage.
Here we have told stories of organ transplants.
The two types of transplantation
There have already been 11 births using a live uterus donor, with the first case in 2013. An option for those who usually have a donor available in the family, or a close friend.
The use of a deceased donor is based on the maintenance of the vital organ even after the death of the donor and the working group of doctors with the 32-year-old Brazilian mother transplanted her uterus after she was left without oxygen for eight hours.
A great alternative to surrogate motherhood
Success may greatly increase the number of women with uterine infertility who previously only had the option of surrogacy or surrogate motherhood to become mothers. The dott. Dani Ejzenberg, from the University of São Paulo's Hospital das Clínicas, conducted the research, said that their scientific study provides "model evidence from which many other women could benefit".
The solidarity of the donation
"The number of people who want and commit themselves to donate organs for their own death are much larger than those of living donors, offering a potentially larger donor population."
Being able to use deceased donors would reduce costs and eliminate the risks of a live transplant, especially in countries with organ donation systems already developed.
The practice will land in Europe
The first uterus transplants in Europe are expected to take place in the UK in early 2019 and independent experts have welcomed the fact that there have now been successful trials in both live and deceased donor transplants.
The reason for this push towards uterus transplantation? The problem is widespread: infertility affects up to 15% of couples of reproductive age and about one in 500 women will have uterine infertility, which may be due to birth defects, injuries or conditions such as infection or cancer.