An image of a pregnant woman.

Baby born from dead donor's transplanted womb for the first time ever in the US

A healthy baby girl has been 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 child, who was born through a caesarian section at the Cleveland Clinic in June, is healthy and the mother is also doing well, the hospital has said.

The uterus was transplanted in late 2017, and the mother, who is in her mid-30s, became pregnant through in vitro fertilization in late 2018.

Baby Born from a Dead Donor’s Transplanted Womb Credit: Cleveland Clinic

Speaking in a press release, Uma Perni, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic maternal-fetal medicine specialist, said doctors "couldn’t have asked for a better outcome."

"Everything went wonderfully with the delivery; the mother and baby girl are doing great," she said. "It’s important to remember this is still research. The field of uterus transplantation is rapidly evolving, and it’s exciting to see what the options may be for women in the future."

"It was amazing how perfectly normal this delivery was, considering how extraordinary the occasion," added Cleveland Clinic transplant surgeon Andreas Tzakis, M.D., PhD. "Through this research, we aim to make these extraordinary events, ordinary for the women who choose this option. 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."

The transplant and birth are part of an on-going clinical trial, named Uterine Transplantation for the Treatment of Uterine Factor Infertility, at the Cleveland Clinic.

Baby Born from a Dead Donor’s Transplanted Womb Credit: Cleveland Clinic

In the press release, the clinic said they aimed to offer hope to the estimated one in 500 women of childbearing age worldwide who are unable to have a baby due to uterine factor infertility, an irreversible condition.

The American academic medical center wishes to enroll ten women between the ages of 21 and 39 years old. Unlike similar research efforts in the US, their protocol calls for the transplanted uterus to come from a deceased donor in order to eliminate risk to a healthy, living donor.

“Medicine is constantly evolving," said Tommaso Falcone, M.D., Cleveland Clinic professor of obstetrics and gynecology and former institute chair.

He added: "I am honored to be part of a team that is dedicated to outstanding patient care and moving medicine forward. This clinical trial reflects the Cleveland Clinic tradition of innovation in clinical medicine. The teamwork it took to make this happen for our patient was remarkable, I am so proud."

Since the Cleveland Clinic began the clinical trial, the team has completed five uterus transplants; three of these were successful and two resulted in hysterectomies to remove them because they did not take. Currently, two women are awaiting embryo transfers, while several more candidates are listed for transplant.