The world's first baby has been born via a uterus transplant from a dead donor. Yes, you read it right. In the first successful case of its kind, a woman in Brazil who received a womb transplanted from a deceased donor has given birth to a baby girl. However, this isn't the first time that a baby has been born using a uterus transplant, they are still very rare - with only 11 babies having been born in this way.
The case, published in The Lancet medical journal, involved connecting veins from the donor uterus with the recipient's veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals.
The girl born in the Brazilian case was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2,550 grams (nearly 6 lbs), the case study said.
While the research is only being published now, the baby was actually born on December 15, 2017. The womb donor was a 45-year-old woman who died as the result of a stroke that caused bleeding on the surface of the brain. Her uterus was removed and transplanted into a 32-year-old woman in an operation lasting 10.5 hours. The recipient had Mayer-Rokitansky-KÜster-Hauser syndrome, a condition in which the vagina and womb do not form correctly. As part of the complex procedure, surgeons had to connect the donor uterus to the recipients' veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal.
The first baby born after a live donor womb transplant was in Sweden in 2013. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.
Experts estimate that infertility affects around 10 to 15 per cent of couples of reproductive age worldwide. Of this group, around one in 500 women have uterine problems.
Before uterus transplants became possible, the only options to have a child were adoption or surrogacy.