Study at the Royal Hospital for Women celebrates first pregnancy
“It came at the earliest time I would have expected a positive result,” Deans said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
Bryant’s mother and donor, Michelle Hayton, said the prospect of a fifth grandchild – raised in the same womb as her own two children – made the 11-hour surgery and long recovery worthwhile.
“Considering that I gave her my uterus in January and we could have a baby in December… I’m over the moon,” Hayton said. “That’s the only thing we wanted or hoped for from the procedure.”
While it’s a significant milestone, Bryant and her family know there’s still a long way to go. Your pregnancy is at high risk; The prescription drugs that keep her from rejecting the transplant have weakened her immune system and she cannot feel contractions or movements in her uterus because it is not connected to her nervous system.
She will be monitored with ultrasounds every two weeks before undergoing a planned cesarean at 37 weeks.
Womb transplants are temporary and last about five years. The goal is to give women enough time to give birth to children while minimizing the long-term side effects of immunosuppressive drugs required after other organ transplants.
To date, more than 70 uterine transplants have been performed worldwide, resulting in around 35 live births.
Deans is planning a second embryo transfer and would like to allow four more women to have transplants in the first phase of the trial.
The study is being funded by the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and Deans is hoping to raise further funds to carry out transplants on six more women.
She said the study is designed to expand fertility opportunities for women in Australia.
“For many women, the thought of carrying their own child is a powerful thing,” she said. “It’s amazing that we can actually offer it.”
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