It’s the first time that a baby has been born to a woman with a transplanted uterus outside of a clinical trial. Officials from University of Alabama–Birmingham Hospital, where the 2-year process took place, said in a statement on July 24 that the birth sets its uterus transplant program on track to perhaps become covered under insurance plans.
The process of uterus transplant, in vitro fertilization, and pregnancy involves 50 medical providers and is open to women who have uterine factor infertility (UFI). The condition may affect up to 5% of reproductive-age women worldwide. Women with UFI cannot carry a pregnancy to term because they were either born without a uterus, had it removed via hysterectomy, or have a uterus that does not function properly.
The woman, whom the hospital identified as Mallory, moved with her family to the Birmingham area to enter the transplant program, which is one of four programs operating in the United States. Mallory learned when she was 17 years old that she was born without a uterus because of Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. Her first child, a daughter, was born after her sister carried the pregnancy as a surrogate.
Mallory received her uterus from a deceased donor. Her son was born in May.
“As with other types of organ transplants, the woman must take immunosuppressive medications to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted uterus,” the transplant program’sstates. “After the baby is born and if the woman does not want more children, the transplanted uterus is removed with a hysterectomy procedure, and the woman no longer needs to take antirejection medications.”
“There are all different ways to grow your family if you have uterine factor infertility, but this [uterus transplantation] is what I feel like I knew that I was supposed to do,” Mallory said in a statement. “I mean, just hearing the cry at first was just, you know, mind blowing.”
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