Bioethics News

First child born after a uterus transplant

On 5th October last year, the birth of the first child born to a woman who had received a uterus transplant was published in medical journal The Lancet (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61728-1).

The birth occurred on 4th September. From a medical point of view, this is clearly an important event, as it made it possible for a woman who had no uterus (as a result of Rokitansky syndrome, in which women are born without a genital tract, including the uterus) to have a child, which she could never have achieved naturally.

News of uterus transplants have been discussed previously in Provida Press (Nº 434, 439, 440), but at that point it was not yet known whether the recipients would be able to become pregnant, and above all give birth to a child, which of course has now been achieved.

In the aforementioned articles in Provida Press, we discussed how the first uterus transplant was performed in Saudi Arabia in 2000, and the second in Turkey in 2011, neither of which had a successful outcome.

After these first two transplants, Matts Brännström and his team from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Gothenburg, together with various colleagues from other universities, obtained the required permission to perform this type of transplant in Sweden. They were authorised to carry out nine transplants, the last of which was completed in Spring 2013. In five cases, the donors were the mothers of the recipients, and the rest were relatives or friends. Of the nine transplants performed, two failed because of thrombosis or infection in the recipient.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.