'Medical milestone' as first baby born from womb of dead donor

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A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased owner for the first time. In this case, a cesarean section was performed for birth at 35 weeks gestation, and along with the delivery of an nearly 6 pound healthy baby girl, the uterus was also removed. The transplant surgery took 10 hours, and the woman was given immunosuppressive medications so her body wouldn't reject the new uterus. And just seven months after the operation, doctors began in vitro fertilization, through which the woman's own fertilized eggs - which had been harvested prior to the transplant surgery - were transferred to her new uterus. When the researchers wrote the paper describing the case - about seven months after the birth - both mom and the baby girl were healthy. The woman's uterus was removed after she delivered.

A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, in a world first.

Procedures using organs from live donors have been attempted 39 times in the years since, so far resulting in a total of 11 live births.

Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom pioneered uterus transplantation. Though it's never been done before, Ejzenberg says "theoretically, it may be possible" to someday use such discarded organs for secondary transplants.

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Researchers point out that the latest landmark birth may create more options for women in the future, since live donors can be hard to find. He traveled to Sweden to learn from doctors there who have the most experience with uterine transplantation. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died of a stroke.

"We are authorized to do two more cases and we are focused on improving our protocol to be able to repeat this success story", Natalie Ehrmann Fusco, a spokesperson for the doctors on the project, told IFLScience.

"I'd have to say it's in the pipelines but there are easier ways to have children like finding a surrogate or adopting", she said.

The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.

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A womb transplant is performed by removing the womb from the donor and transplanting it into the recipient by connecting the two major veins and a series of arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals, according to The Lancet.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Dr. Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal. The causes vary, but for one in 500 women, uterine problems are the cause.

In the USA, around 10 percent of women aged between 15 to 44 struggle with fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the end, they held off an additional month after tests suggested the lining of the donor uterus wasn't quite thick enough to support implantation. Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for almost eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is.

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Experts hope uterus transplants will one day be more widely available for women without uteruses or with damaged organs - or potentially even transgender women - seeking to become pregnant.