An Indian woman has given birth to Asia's first uterus-transplant baby after being donated the organ by her own mother.
Meenakashi Walan, 28, underwent the procedure in May last year after her uterus became 'non-functional' following three abortions and a miscarriage.
After being told her only hope of carrying a child was a uterus transplant, Mrs Walan's mother Sushila Ben Jayesh, 45, jumped at the idea of being a donor.
Nearly a year-and-a-half after the transplant, Mrs Walan, from Vadodra, Gujarat in western India, conceived via IVF.
Her and her husband Hitesh Bhai, 30, welcomed their daughter Radha, who was born via C-section weighing 3lbs 1oz, after just 32 weeks on October 18.
Mrs Walan is recovering at Galaxy Care Hospital in Pune, where her daughter is expected to stay for the next few months.
Speaking of her daughter's birth, Mrs Walan said: 'It is a miracle, an exceptional event that has not been heard or thought of before.
'I feel complete now. Being a mother is the most beautiful emotion in the world, it is something that has to be felt.
'All I am willing to concentrate on is my daughter's wellbeing and upbringing right now.'
Dr Sailesh Putambekar, who performed the delivery, added: 'It was a complicated surgery because the vessels of the uterus were small.
'She didn't have any complications during the pregnancy. Both the mother and the child were healthy.'
Mrs Walan married her college sweetheart nine years ago, with the pair now running a men's salon.
The couple conceived their first child naturally but the infant tragically died within minutes of being born.
Mrs Walan then became pregnant twice more, but both foetuses had to be aborted due to complications.
The heartbroken couple consulted several gynaecologists before visiting specialists at Galaxy Care Hospital in 2016, who told them about the possibility of a uterus transplant.
Sushila Ben underwent numerous tests and medical procedures before her uterus was finally transplanted into her daughter on May 19 last year.
'I was heartbroken after her first newborn had died and then two abortions had scarred her uterus lining,' she said.
'When she told me that she can become a mother if she gets a uterus from me, I got excited.'
Speaking of the procedure, Sushila Ben added: 'Both my daughter and I were next to each other in the operation theatre as it was a live transplantation.
'The doctor informed me about the crucial process before hand but I had full trust in him and strong faith in God. I knew things will certainly fall in its place.'
After the operation, doctors waited 40 days for Mrs Walan to have a period before she was implanted with an embryo.
'I feel blessed, happy and humble as God has heard my prayers and medical advancements have done a miracle for Radha,' Sushila Ben said.
'I feel privileged that both my daughter and my granddaughter are born from my uterus. God has chosen me for this divine purpose.'
Mrs Walan is now a keen advocate her uterus transplants, saying 'I feel uterus transplant is a noble cause - this is only alternative available for women who want to be mothers.'
Only a handful of babies worldwide have been delivered following uterus transplants, with this being the first of its kind in Asia.
In 2014, Malin Stenburg, then 36, from Sweden, became the world’s first woman to have a baby following a womb transplant after a 61-year-old family friend donated her organ.
Nine live donor uteruses have since been transplanted in Sweden in total, with several also being completed in the US.
It was announced last June three women are to become the first in Britain to have womb transplants. The procedures were said at the time to take place 'within the next few months using wombs donated by a mother or sister'.
The treatment, which costs around £30,000 per patient, is being funded by the charity Womb Transplant UK because it is still too experimental for the NHS.
Prior to surgery, the women will undergo IVF treatment so the embryos can be implanted six months after the transplant.
The babies will need to be delivered by C-section because a transplanted uterus is likely to become detached during childbirth.
All transplants are complicated and high-risk, but uterine transplants are especially so for the recipient.
Like all transplants, a recipient has to take immunosuppressant drugs so she does not reject the new uterus. This raises the risk of an infection and can even leave a patient more vulnerable to cancer.
A woman is forced to start immunosuppressant treatment before the transplant procedure and has to remain on the drugs while artificial insemination is attempted, throughout pregnancy and until she delivers a baby, at which point the uterus is removed through a hysterectomy.
Transplants need to be removed to stop the need for aggressive anti-rejection medication.
Источник The Daily Mail