Deborah and Her Success Story
Just outside Paris, a woman named “Deborah,” recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl weighing 1.85 kilograms. Mother and child made history, as their case is the first-ever successful birth following a uterine transplant in France.
Reports1 say that the now 36-year-old Deborah was born with Mayer–Rokitansky–Küster–Hauser Syndrome (Rokitansky Syndrome), a rare congenital malformation that results in a missing uterus.
In March 2019, Deborah received the uterus of her 57-year old mother. And almost 2 years later, she delivered her baby with the help of the same medical team who performed the transplant.
Birth After Uterine Transplant, Rare But Not Impossible
Deborah’s case might be the first in France, but the world’s first successful birth after uterine transplant happened in Sweden back in 2014.
After that, multiple experimental studies followed. Women with Rokitansky Syndrome (or other uterine factor infertility) received a uterus from a live donor, usually someone who already gave birth to a few babies before.
Other cases, such as those in Brazil and North America, involved women who received a uterus from recently deceased donors. Both women also successfully had live births.
Uterine Transplant: A Cutting-Edge, But Complex Procedure
The success stories of healthy births following a transplant makes it seem like the procedures are simple, but experts say the steps are complicated.
According to the University of Pennsylvania Health System, giving birth after a uterine transplant involves 3 stages:
The couple enrolls and enters screening. Once all set, they undergo in vitro fertilization, where doctors harvest the egg cells and fertilize them in the laboratory. Embryos will then be cryopreserved as they will be implanted after transplantation.