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A baby was born for the first time in France after a uterine transplant, said the hospital that treats mother and child on Wednesday.
Such births are extremely rare, but not unprecedented. They are performed using a state-of-the-art procedure to transplant a healthy uterus into a woman whose own is damaged or missing.
The baby, a girl weighing 1,845 kilograms, was born outside of Paris on Friday, according to the Foch Hospital team.
"Mother and baby are fine," said Jean-Marc Ayoubi, head of the hospital's gynecology, obstetrics and reproductive medicine department, to AFP.
The 36-year-old mother, whose name was only given as Deborah, was born without a uterus because she suffered from a rare condition called Rokitansky syndrome, which affects about one in 4,500 women.
She received a uterine transplant in March 2019 – performed by the same team that delivered the baby – from her own mother, who was 57 at the time.
"We had to wait another year to make sure the transplanted uterus was not rejected," said Ayoubi.
The first round of lockdown brought all non-emergency antenatal care in France to a standstill, but the birth went without major complications.
Deborah was 33 weeks pregnant when she gave birth, the hospital said.
The first birth after a uterine transplant took place in Sweden in 2014.
It came a year after the transplant in a case that was documented in the medical journal The Lancet.
Doctors in Brazil had success in 2017 giving birth to a woman who received a uterine transplant from a deceased donor.
The mother in this case suffered from the same disorder as Deborah.
"Worldwide there have been around 20 births" after uterine transplants, said Ayoubi, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
The cases offer hope as an alternative to adoption or surrogacy for women with similar reproductive problems.
Ayoubi stated that in Deborah's case, the transplant should not be permanent.
The "temporary transplant," as he called it, was only intended to enable her to have one child.
However, he stressed that it is not uncommon for women with a uterine transplant to give birth a second time, as has happened several times in Sweden.
Ayoubi's team has already received permission to continue its work on women without a uterus. Another 10 women with similar diseases are planned for clinical studies.
First baby from a uterine transplant in the USA, born in Dallas
© 2021 AFP
First baby born after uterine transplant in France (2021, February 17)
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