For the first time ever, a baby has been born after a uterus transplant, giving hope to thousands of women.
In a truly remarkable achievement and a first in the medical community, a woman who was born without a uterus and got a transplant has given birth to a baby. It happened at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and happened to a woman who was part of the hospital’s ongoing uterus transplant critical trial, according to a TIME report.
The women who are part of the trial have absolute uterine factor infertility, or a non-function or non-existent uterus. These women have lived their lives having no hope of ever having a baby of their own, but that has changed now thanks to this incredible new development.
The baby was delivered via Caesarean section, and was healthy and screaming at birth. It was a very emotional moment for the entire staff, according to the report, and could have tremendous ramifications for the future of medicine and childbirth.
The full statement from Baylor follows below.
A baby has been born at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a part of Baylor Scott & White Health, to a mother who received a uterus as part of a landmark clinical trial conducted over the past year and a half. This live birth is the latest medical milestone in the uterine transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center, being conducted through Baylor Scott & White Research Institute.
“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.” – Giuliano Testa, MD, principal investigator of the uterine transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
This innovative success is attributed to a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and research investigators who have remained committed to advancing the science of uterus transplantation for the benefit of the broader medical community and women with uterine factor infertility.
After two years of preparation, careful review of all 16 previous uterine transplants performed in the world, and thoughtful discussion of the ethical and resource considerations – we entered a new space. Under IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval, we performed the first four living-donor uterine transplants ever done in the U.S. Alongside our team during all four surgeries in Dallas was a Swedish surgical team, widely considered the world’s experts in uterine transplant as five births have resulted from transplants they have performed. We performed the surgeries between September 14 and 22, making modifications along the way to discover potential improvements to the protocols.
During the past three weeks since the first surgery, we performed routine follow-up testing as part of the trial protocol on all four patients. In three patients, we determined after several tests the transplanted organs were not receiving viable blood flow and the uteri were removed. Those patients are now doing well and will soon be back to normal activity.
The fourth patient’s follow-up tests currently indicate a much different result. Her tests are showing good blood flow to the uterus. There are also no signs of rejection or infection at this time. We are cautiously optimistic that she could ultimately become the first uterine transplant recipient in the U.S. to make it to the milestone of uterine functionality.
Both the Baylor University Medical Center surgical team and the Swedish surgical team reviewed the three cases that resulted in explantation, and they believe the valuable learnings from the cases will result in recommendations to change the current protocols in operative and post-operative management of uterine transplant patients with specific attention to the thickness of the uterine veins.
We are committed to sharing all of our learnings in this research with the scientific community and the world, as it is the best way to honor our patients – donors and recipients – and our colleagues’ work in helping find a solution to uterine-factor infertility.