Baby Born from a Dead Donor's Transplanted Womb for the First Time in the U.S.

The healthy baby girl was born at the Cleveland Clinic in June, a year and a half after the womb transplant

Uterus transplant baby
Photo: Cleveland Clinic

A healthy baby girl was born from a transplanted uterus given to the mother from a deceased donor, for the first time ever in North America and the second time worldwide.

The baby, born at the Cleveland Clinic in June, and the mother are both doing well, the hospital says.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome,” said Dr. Uma Perni, the maternal fetal medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a press release. “Everything went wonderfully with the delivery; the mother and baby girl are doing great.”

Doctors transplanted the womb into the mother in late 2017, and about a year later, the mother became pregnant through in vitro fertilization. The baby girl was born through a caesarian section.

“It was amazing how perfectly normal this delivery was, considering how extraordinary the occasion,” said Dr. Andreas Tzakis, the Cleveland Clinic’s transplant surgeon.

The transplant and birth are part of Cleveland Clinic’s continuing clinical trial on uterine transplantation. They have transplanted five uteruses so far — three have been successful, while the other two later required hysterectomies to remove them because they did not take. Two women who had successful transplants are waiting on their embryo transfer for IVF.

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The trial, called Uterine Transplantation for the Treatment of Uterine Factor Infertility is aimed at helping the “estimated 1 in 500 women of childbearing age worldwide” who are unable to get pregnant because of abnormalities in their uteruses.

“Through this research, we aim to make these extraordinary events, ordinary for the women who choose this option,” Tzakis continued. “We are grateful to the donor and her family, their generosity allowed our patient’s dream to come true and a new baby to be born.”

“It’s important to remember this is still research,” Perni said. “The field of uterus transplantation is rapidly evolving, and it’s exciting to see what the options may be for women in the future.”

While this is the first successful birth in the U.S. involving a uterus from a deceased donor, a Swedish woman was the first to successfully deliver a healthy baby after a uterus transplant from a living donor back in 2014, and the first in the U.S. occurred in Oct. 2017. In Dec. 2017, a woman in Brazil delivered the first baby born from a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor.

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