Recipient of India’s first womb transplant conceives, but loses foetus in sixth week
According to doctors, normally embryo transfer-led pregnancy is successful during the third attempt. One of the reasons for the abortion could be that the recipient was prescribed immuno-suppressants during the womb transplant, which may have led to the abortion, said Puntambekar.pune Updated: Mar 19, 2018 23:38 IST
Recipient of India’s first womb transplant will have to undergo a second embryo transfer after undergoing an abortion. According to doctors, the 21-year-old woman from Solapur, who underwent an embryo transfer in February this year, remained pregnant for five weeks but underwent an abortion in the sixth week.
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of Pune’s Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI), where the uterine transplant and embryo transfer was performed, said, “The first recipient of the womb transplant underwent an embryo transfer in the first week of February. A pregnancy test was conducted after 14 days which showed that she remained pregnant. The pregnancy tests were positive for the first five weeks and the hormonal levels were also positive during this period. This showed that the uterus was responsive, which is a good sign. Unfortunately, during the sixth week, she underwent an abortion.”
According to doctors, normally embryo transfer-led pregnancy is successful during the third attempt. One of the reasons for the abortion could be that the recipient was prescribed immuno-suppressants during the womb transplant, which may have led to the abortion, said Puntambekar.
Dr Puntambekar said that the woman will now undergo embryo transfer for the second time in the last week of March.
Doctors at a Pune hospital had conducted two consecutive uterine transplants on May 18 and May 19 last year. The first recipient of the womb transplant was a 21-year-old woman from Solapur who was born without a uterus. 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).
“In the last week of March, the 21-year-old from Solapur will undergo an embryo transfer for the second time while the 24-year-old woman from Baroda will also undergo her first embryo transfer by March-end this year,” said Dr Puntambekar.
He stated that one more uterine transplant was performed on January 26 this year while two more uterine transplants would be performed in the first week of April this year.
“There are two women, a 24-year-old and a 25-year-old who are likely to undergo uterine transplants in the first week of April. The 24-year-old woman is from Bihar while the other is from Gujarat. In both the cases, the donors are their mothers aged 48 and 46 respectively,” said Dr Puntambekar.
Speaking about the registrations which his hospital has received following the success of uterine transplants conducted so far, Dr Puntambekar said, “Presently, we have 500 registrations. Out of these 150 women are born without a uterus while 150 others have a very small uterus. The others have complex problems and hence, have registered.”
Box- What is a uterine transplant?
Uterus is removed from the donor’s. Doctors attach the uterus, after preserving in ice, to the recipient. The recipient is kept under a heavy dose of immune-suppressants so that the body doesn’t reject the organ womb.