Skip to Content
Biotechnology and health

The first baby has been born after a uterus transplant from a dead donor

December 5, 2018

A woman who received a uterus transplant from a deceased donor has given birth to a healthy baby girl, according to a paper in the Lancet.

The news: The 32-year-old mother suffers from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome and was born without a uterus. But in September 2016, surgeons at the University of São Paulo in Brazil conducted a 10-hour transplant operation to provide her with one taken from a dead donor. Seven months later, the team transferred an IVF-created embryo into the womb. The baby was delivered by caesarean section in December 2017. The donor, who was 45 when she died of a brain hemorrhage, had delivered three children.

World first: Until this point, only uterus transplants from living donors had led to successful births. The 10 previous attempts to achieve pregnancies using uteruses from dead donors failed or led to miscarriages. Uterus transplantation, even from living donors, is still a very new procedure. The first successful birth from a living uterus donor was in Sweden in 2014, and there have only been 11 babies delivered that way since.

Why this matters: Expanding the pool of donors to include the dead as well as the living could help increase the number of available uteruses. Few people are willing to give up their wombs while they’re alive, but it might prove easier to convince people to bequeath them, especially those already signed up for organ donations.

Deep Dive

Biotechnology and health

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

This baby with a head camera helped teach an AI how kids learn language

A neural network trained on the experiences of a single young child managed to learn one of the core components of language: how to match words to the objects they represent.

The first gene-editing treatment: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Sickle-cell disease is the first illness to be beaten by CRISPR, but the new treatment comes with an expected price tag of $2 to $3 million.

We’ve never understood how hunger works. That might be about to change.

Scientists have spent decades trying to unravel the intricate mysteries of the human appetite. Are they on the verge of finally determining how this basic drive functions?

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.