A baby has been born at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas to a woman who received a uterus as part of a landmark clinical trial conducted over the last 18 months. The live birth, which occurred last month and was announced Dec. 1, was the first to a uterine transplant recipient in the United States.
The birth by cesarean section was also the latest milestone in the uterine transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health, being conducted through the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute.
Participants in the clinical trial either don’t have a uterus, or their uterus does not function as intended. The uterine donors may be either living or deceased.
A Dallas nurse, 36-year-old Taylor Siler—an “altruistic” living donor—donated her uterus in 2016 to the woman who gave birth last month.
According to Baylor Scott & White Health, the uterus transplant process begins with in vitro fertilization, where the patient is given fertility drugs to harvest her eggs. The eggs are then fertilized, and the embryos are frozen. Next, a donor womb and cervix are removed and transplanted into the recipient.
The patient then receives immunosuppressant drugs to ensure the donated organs aren’t rejected. The patient’s embryo may be implanted as soon as 12 months after the transplant and, if the transplantation is successful, the recipient becomes pregnant, with the aim of carrying her baby to term.
The first-in-the-nation birth at BUMC was attributed to a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and research investigators. One key member of the team was Dr. Giuliano Testa, principal investigator of the uterine transplant clinical trial at the hospital.
“This first live birth to a uterus transplant recipient in the United States was a milestone in our work to solve absolute uterine factor infertility; but, more importantly, a beautiful moment of love and hope for a mother who had been told she would never be able to carry her own child,” Testa said in a statement on the Baylor Scott & White Health web site.
Eight babies have been born in Sweden to women who had uterine transplants since 2014. One member of the Swedish transplant team, Dr. Liza Johannesson, has joined the team at BUMC, where eight women in all have received transplants, including the new mother.