A 26-year-old Chinese woman who received a womb in China’s first ever mother-daughter uterus transplant in November 2015, has given birth to a two-kilogram baby boy in Xi’an, central China.
The baby is China’s first and the world’s 14th to be born from a transplanted womb, according to Xinhua.
The tearful new mother surnamed Yang would have never had the chance to be pregnant as, although she had ovaries, she was born without a uterus.
When China’s first ever mother-daughter womb transplant was undertaken in 2015, Yang was just 22 and her mother was also relatively young at 43.
Obstetricians at a Xi’an hospital extracted ova, or female reproductive cells, from Yang, and with the help of assisted reproductive technology, they froze 14 embryos in August 2015, which were then implanted in Yang’s newly transplanted womb in June, 2018. Yang became pregnant within two weeks.
To ensure the health of Yang and her baby during the pregnancy, experts from the obstetrics and gynecology department and the urology department made a series of individual immune anti-rejection medication observations and conducted regular ultrasound, plasma concentration and hormone level monitoring.
“A full-term fetus can bring pressure to the transplanted womb, which increases risks during labor,” said Chen Biliang, director of obstetrics and gynecology department at Xijing Hospital in Xi’an.
Chen and his team thus decided to conduct a cesarean section in the 33rd week of Yang’s pregnancy when the baby was developing well.
In 2000, the world’s first human womb transplant took place on a 26-year-old woman in Saudi Arabia. However the transplanted uterus failed after three months and had to be removed.
There are about a million women in China suffering from uterine infertility. Due to the limitations of current assisted reproductive technology and a ban on surrogacy, uterus transplants may provide some home for women to raise their own families.