Mother uses dead woman's uterus to give birth

A baby has been born using a dead woman's transplanted uterus in the first successful case of its kind. While there have been 10 other attempts, this is the first to result in a livebirth.

The case, reported in The Lancet, involved a 32 year-old woman in Brazil who was born without a uterus.

The operation in 2016 involved removing the uterus from the dead donor and connecting the donor uterus' and recipient's veins and arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canals.

Fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months and the recipient was confirmed to be pregnant ten days after implantation.

The girl was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days. The transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies.

"The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment, and our results provide proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility," says research leader Dr Dani Ejzenberg, from the Hospital das Clínicas at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil.

"The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population."

Dr Srdjan Saso, from Imperial College London, said the results were "extremely exciting".

"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks."