doctors perform second uterus transplant

published on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 11:07 am

“About 80 uterus transplants have been performed so far worldwide,” according to the professor who performed the operation.

Doctors have successfully performed a uterus transplant for the second time in France. A first woman had been transplanted in 2019.

She is now expecting her second child.

“The transplant on this new 36-year-old patient was performed from her older sister’s uterus, with minimally invasive surgery,” explained to theAFP Professor Jean-Marc Ayoubi, head of the obstetrics gynecology and reproductive medicine department at the Foch hospital in Suresnes (Hauts-de-Seine). This nearly 18-hour uterine transplant took place a month ago.

The patient who benefited from the transplant had Rokitansky syndrome (MRKH), responsible for infertility by uterine agenesis (she was born without a uterus), and which affects approximately one in 4,000 baby girl births. The uterus is the organ of gestation: it is there that the embryo develops. Without this organ, pregnancy is not possible.

In March 2019, Professor Ayoubi and his teams had already performed a first transplant on a woman, Déborah Berlioz, suffering from the same syndrome. She received her mother’s womb and later became pregnant through an embryo transfer.

“About 80 uterus transplants have been performed so far worldwide”, says Professor Ayoubi. “You need a living donor, volunteer and related (either family or a close friend) and of course we do immunological compatibility tests,” he adds.

After the success of the first transplant, the Covid had slowed down his research project, started more than 15 years ago and result of an international collaboration with the team of Professor Mats Branstrumfrom the University of Gothenburg (Sweden).

For the teams at Foch Hospital, this new medical intervention brings hope to patients born without a uterus or with uterine infertility caused by a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) or a non-functional uterus.

For her part, Déborah Berlioz, 37, is expecting a second child. After the birth, scheduled for next March, the transplanted uterus will be removed, which requires her to undergo anti-rejection treatment.

“The clinical trial in which I took part authorized a maximum of two pregnancies in five years”she told theAFP. After a first “miracle” pregnancy, she is delighted to be expecting a second “bonus” baby: “Before the transplant, any hope of one day becoming pregnant was totally forbidden to me”.

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