A US woman with a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor gave birth for the second time ever in the US
- In November 2019, a woman named Jennifer Gobrecht gave birth to a son using the uterus of a deceased donor.
- This is the second birth of this kind ever to take place in the US.
- The birth was part of Penn Medicine's Uterus Transplantation for Uterine Factor Infertility trial, which is the only US uterus transplant trial currently accepting patients. The trial will use uteruses donated from both living and dead people.
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When Jennifer Gobrecht was 17, she learned she couldn't have children. When Gobrecht was 33, she and her family welcomed a son into the world.
She named him Benjamin, and his birth, which was attended to by a team of over 20 specialists this past November, gave women with similar fertility issues hope.
Benjamin was the second baby ever to be born in the US through a transplanted uterus from a donor who had died. A year before her son's birth, Gobrecht received a uterus as part of an organ transplant research trial. The surgery to transfer the uterus took 10 hours, and six months after the surgery doctors implanted the embryos.
It worked, and Gobrecht got pregnant.
"I hope that this process can be another mainstream option for couples hoping to have children that don't necessarily have the option to do it the standard, natural way," Gobrecht told the New York Times.
Benjamin's birth was part of Penn Medicine's Uterus Transplantation for Uterine Factor Infertility trial, which is the only US uterus transplant trial currently accepting patients.
Uterine transplantation is a new field in medicine. If it works, approximately 5% of women worldwide and 50,000 American women could benefit.
"For women with Uterine Factor Infertility, uterus transplantation is potentially a new path to parenthood - outside of adoption and use of a gestational carrier - and it's the only option which allows these women to carry and deliver their babies," said Kathleen O'Neill, co-principal investigator of the UNTIL trial.
There have been approximately 70 uterus transplants globally, and this is only the second American one. Many of the transplants have involved uteruses donated from living people, but the uterus Gobrecht used was from a deceased donor.
The first baby in the US to be born using a uterus transplant from a dead donor arrived in June 2019 at the Cleveland Clinic. Doctors at the clinic delivered the baby via cesarean section.
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