India’s first womb transplant recipients to undergo embryo transfer in Pune | pune news | Hindustan Times
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India’s first womb transplant recipients to undergo embryo transfer in Pune

Doctors at a Pune hospital conducted two consecutive uterine transplants on May 18 and May 19 this year.

pune Updated: Dec 04, 2017 15:20 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Doctors at a Pune hospital conducted two consecutive uterine transplants on May 18 and May 19 this year.
Doctors at a Pune hospital conducted two consecutive uterine transplants on May 18 and May 19 this year.(HT Photo)

Two women who underwent India's first womb transplant in May this year will now undergo embryo implants early next year.

Doctors at a Pune hospital conducted two consecutive uterine transplants on May 18 and May 19 this year. The first recipient of the womb transplant was a 21-year-old woman from Solapur who was born without a uterus, while the second womb transplant was successfully performed on a 24-year-old woman from Baroda who was suffering from Asherman’s Syndrome (scar tissue in the uterus).

Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of Pune’s Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI), where the transplants were performed, said, "Both the transplanted patients are doing well. The first patient from Solapur has menstruated for the first time in her life as she was born without the uterus. She has had regular periods for the last six months at a 25-day interval.

“The second patient from Baroda has also menstruated six times since the transplant. This indicates normal functioning of the uterus which is very important."

Puntambekar added that the first step is an anatomically present uterus and the second step is a naturally functioning uterus. "Now, the third step is the formation of the baby in the transplanted uterus. Since both the patients have had no problems in terms of infection, organ rejection and were never hospitalised in the last six months we have decided to implant the embryos in the first patient from Solapur in January 2018."

Speaking about the second patient, Dr Puntambekar said that the second lady will be having the embryos transplanted after February 2018.

He said that the reason for waiting so long for the embryo implant is that the ladies should be on minimum dose of immunosuppressants so that the pregnancy does not lead to any infection so the aby does not have any side effects.

"We expect the baby to be born in September 2018 for Solapur woman. The baby will be delivered by caesarean section as the uterus is not transplanted with the nerves and so the woman will not have labour pains," he added.

Two more womb transplants to be performed in January

Following the success of India’s first two womb transplants, two more uterine transplants will be performed in a city hospital on January 25 and January 26 respectively.

Doctors at a Pune hospital conducted India’s first womb transplant on May 18 this year, during which they had successfully transferred a mother’s uterus to her 21-year-old daughter. A team of 12 doctors at Pune’s Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI) had carried out the procedure on the patient. Later, the hospital also conducted another womb transplant on a 24-year-old woman suffering from Asherman’s Syndrome (scar tissue in the uterus).

Following the success of these transplant surgeries, the hospital will now conduct two more transplants in January next year.

Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director at GCLI, told Hindustan Times, “The woman undergoing surgery on January 25, 2018 is from Belgaum. She is a 26-year-old and does not have a uterus since birth.”

According to Puntambekar, the Maharashtra directorate of health services has already granted permission to GCLI to conduct womb transplants for the next five years. “In this case, we only need to get permission from the transplant committee from Sassoon hospital.”

The woman, according to the doctor, is married for five years. As the couple did not want to opt for surrogacy or adoption, they have decided to undergo uterus transplant surgery. “We have already retrieved eight eggs which have been fertilised with the husbands sperm.”

Dr Puntambekar said that the donor for this patient is her mother who is 52 years old.

“The mother who is the donor had stopped menstruating two years back. To check whether the uterus is functional or not we have given her some hormones and restarted the menstruation cycle since the past six months,” said Dr Puntambekar.

Speaking about the second patient, Dr Puntambekar said, “The second patient is a 26-year-old woman, originally from Bihar, but is presently staying in Pune. In her case, the uterus is very small, of two to three centimetres. The patient is married for four years. The donor for this patient is her mother who is 48-year-old.”

Puntambekar said that these two transplants are scheduled for January 25 and January 26 respectively. He said that following the success of the first two uterine transplants, 400 patients have registered, out of which 250 patients have visited the hospital.

“We are planning to do the transplants in only those who are married and those who have absent or non-functioning uterus and who are under the age of 35. The donors will be either mother or sister below the age of 5,” said Puntambekar.