The First U.S. Baby Born Via a Transplanted Womb From a Dead Donor Proves Just How Far Science Has Come

When you think about the medical advances that have been made over the last few decades, it’s pretty incredible. The pill was developed in the 1950s. The polio vaccine came into commercial use in the 1960s — and it was so effective, the condition was declared eradicated by 1979. The first facial transplant took place in France in 2005. But the most recent medical news has rendered us speechless. The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has delivered the first baby in the U.S. born after a womb transplant from a dead donor, because science is amazing.

The medical miracle occurred on June 18, and Dr. Uma Perni, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist who oversaw case, said in a press release that everything went smoothly. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Everything went wonderfully with the delivery; the mother and baby girl are doing great.”

This is one of five uterine transplants the clinic has done. The uterus was transplanted in late 2017 and, according to Cleveland.com, the mother — who is in her mid-30s — became pregnant in 2018, with the help of in vitro fertilization.

Of course, the birth is promising for numerous reasons. Approximately 1 in 500 women will face uterine factor infertility, or abnormalities in the uterus that prevent successful pregnancy, and some are born without a uterus — a condition known as Müllerian agenesis or vaginal agenesis. But this particular transplant verifies the uterus is viable after death. “It proves the concept,” Dr. Tommaso Falcone, a clinic professor of obstetrics and gynecology who was part of the transplant team, told Cleveland.com. “We have amazing insight into the function of the uterus.”

It is important to note that this is not the first baby born after a womb transplant. The first successful uterine transplant birth in the U.S. occurred in November 2017, at Baylor University Medical Center, and in December 2018, Brazil reported the world’s first birth using a deceased donor’s womb. Still, the event is momentous and doctors are cautiously optimistic. “It’s important to remember this is still research,” Perni said. “The field of uterus transplantation is rapidly evolving, but it’s exciting to see what the options may be for women in the future.”

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