Science fiction in obstetrics: The first child born to a woman without her own uterus saw the light of day in the Czech Republic
Hope is coming for all women who cannot have children due of the absence of the uterus! A team of professionals from IKEM and Motol celebrates success in the form of the first Czech baby born to a woman who underwent a uterine transplant from a dead donor as part of a study. What is unique is that the deceased woman had never had children herself. Although this may seem like a fiction movie, medicine now gives hope to all "disabled" women craving for maternity...
The 27-year-old mother had been born without a uterus, but since she longed for a family of her own, she signed up for a programme launched by the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine in 2015. Two years later she underwent surgery to obtain a uterus from a woman who had suffered brain death.
Prior to her transplantation, her eggs had been harvested in the Motol University Hospital and subsequently fertilized using her partner's sperm. The embryos were then kept frozen until the time of artificial insemination, which was successfully performed two years after the transplantation.
The expectant mother was monitored during her pregnancy more closely than other mothers. She had minor complications in the 35th week, which the doctors were able to handle with ease. Fetal growth in the uterus, ultrasound and all other necessary examinations showed no deviations from normal pregnancy. And even immunosuppressive drugs that the mother has to use because of her uterine transplant didn't have a negative impact on fetal development in the uterus.
The child was out in less than an hour
The Caesarean delivery itself took place without any complications, even though the baby was born a week earlier than originally planned.
“The mother came to our hospital in the 35th week of pregnancy already with uterine contractions. Therefore we had to start preparing for delivery immediately. We managed to perform it in a relatively short time, it took exactly 47 minutes,”
says Marek Pluta, who led the delivery. The surgical team was made up of about 10 people. In addition to obstetricians, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, midwives and nurses were present.
Thanks to Caesarean, a baby boy with a birth weight of 2740 g saw the light of day. Two weeks after delivery, the mother and child were released home. And her uterus is in such a good condition that she can even have a second baby.
Although many women may feel like rejoicing now, the doctors would rather not get ahead of themselves. The whole procedure is still in the trial period. Nowhere in the world is this transplantation considered as usual as transplantations of other organs. Only the results of twenty selected women will show how the study is doing.
Yet the little boy is unique in the world.
“It is the nineteenth child in the world born from a transplanted uterus and the third from a uterus from a deceased donor. The other two were was born in Brazil and in the United States. This is the first child in Europe to be born from a uterus from a deceased donor, and the first child in the world to be born from a uterus from a deceased donor who hadn't given birth before, so the uterus hadn't previously undergone pregnancy,”