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Woman gives birth after uterus transplant — a first in the US

A woman gave birth in Dallas following a uterus transplant for the first time in the United States. (2006 file photo/Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

A woman gave birth following a uterus transplant for the first time in the United States, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas recently announced.

What happened?

In an effort to help women with uterine factor infertility conceive, Swedish doctors attempted uterine transplants. According to CNN, doctors at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden successfully delivered a healthy 3.9-pound baby following a uterus transplant in 2014. They have now successfully delivered a total of eight babies born to mothers who have undergone uterine transplants.

The procedure at Baylor, however, marks the first time a successful delivery has followed such a procedure in the United States.

Dr. Giuliano Testa, the principal investigator of the uterine transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, said in a statement:

“This first live birth to a uterus transplant recipient in the United States was a milestone in our work to solve absolute uterine factor infertility; but, more importantly, a beautiful moment of love and hope for a mother who had been told she would never be able to carry her own child.”

According to CNN, the hospital did not immediately release information about the patient or her baby boy, citing privacy concerns.

The Washington Post reported that another transplant recipient is pregnant, while another two are trying to conceive. Four other women had transplants that failed and had to have the organs surgically removed.

How does it work?

According to Baylor, a patient seeking a uterine transplant is first given fertility drugs to in order for doctors to harvest her eggs, which are then fertilized and the embryos are frozen.

After a woman receives a donor womb and cervix, the patient must then take immunosuppressant drugs in an effort to make sure her body does not reject the donated organs. An embryo may be implanted in her new womb as early as 12 months after the transplant takes place.

CNN noted that the transplanted organ is not intended to remain in the body permanently, since recipients must take the immunosuppressant drugs as long as it remains. The donated organs will be removed after one or two pregnancies.

(H/T: Washington Post)

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