Cleveland Clinic

First Baby Born In US From Transplanted Womb That Came From Dead Donor

Dan 10 Jul 2019

Medical science will never cease to amaze. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have announced the delivery of a new baby — one whose birth once would have seemed quite impossible.

It's the first of its kind.

Unsplash | JAFAR AHMED

The baby is the product of a uterus transplant. While various organs and body parts can be transplanted, a uterine transplant is a different story. Up until this groundbreaking birth, no uterine transplant babies had been born in North America.

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How does it work?

Unsplash | Piron Guillaume

A uterine transplant takes a womb from a deceased person in much the same way that other organs can be donated. The idea of doing uterine transplants has been out there for awhile, but the process is still in its infancy.

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It gives women a new option.

Unsplash | Minnie Zhou

"Through this research, we aim to make these extraordinary events ordinary for the women who choose this option," said Cleveland Clinic transplant surgeon Dr. Andrea Tzakis. "We are grateful to the donor."

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Uterine transplants were first practiced in Sweden.

Unsplash | Juan Encalada

The exploration of this kind of transplantation goes back more than a century, but the first successful uterine transplant procedure was performed in Sweden just five years ago.

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The field is moving fast.

Wikimedia Commons | HealthMonitor

"It's important to remember that this is still research, but it's exciting to see what the options may be for women in the future," said maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Uma Perni.

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Where do I sign up?

Flickr | M///S///H

As of now, the Cleveland Clinic investigators are still conducting a research trial. This means that only a select group of women are being considered. But, as the doctors state, this could be a real option in just a few years.

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It's tricky.

YouTube | Cleveland Clinic

Doctors say that transplanting a uterus into a woman is complicated and necessitates suppressing the immune system's response. Any transplant is a complicated procedure, but uterine transplants are on another level.

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Lots of women will want this.

Flickr | NICHD NIH

Doctors are studying women with uterine factor infertility, or UFI. These women have no uterus, and can't get pregnant without help. This is where the prospect of a transplanted uterus becomes compelling.

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The transplanted uterus is there for one reason.

YouTube | Cleveland Clinic

Doctors estimate that a transplanted uterus will be good for one to two live births, and is considered "life-enhancing and not lifesaving." After it's served its purpose, it's either removed or allowed to disintegrate.

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What do you think?

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Lots of women have difficulty getting pregnant, and this opens up new avenues. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this groundbreaking research in the comments section!

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