Doctors Confirm Womb Transplant Recipient Is Pregnant

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online

The Turkish woman who, two years ago, became the first person in the world to have a successful womb transplant from a deceased donor is pregnant, various media outlets are reporting.

Twenty-two-year-old Derya Sert, who was born without a womb, had been receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments since the successful transplant, which took place in August 2011 at Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya, the AFP news agency reported on Friday.

According to Reuters, the hospital released a statement stating early test results were “consistent with pregnancy” and that Sert was “in good health.”

The woman´s doctor, Mustafa Unal, confirmed she was pregnant in an email sent to Elise Solé of Yahoo! Shine. In that message, Unal wrote, “We are glad to inform that she is indeed pregnant. But she is now just at the beginning of the pregnancy period. We hope everything goes well until the end of the pregnancy.”

Sert´s operation was the second womb transplant to be performed by doctors, according to the AFP. In 2000, a patient in Saudi Arabia received a transplant from a living donor, but that womb failed due to heavy clotting and had to be removed after 99 days. An estimated one out of every 5,000 women is born without a uterus.

Sert´s doctors “waited 18 months before implanting the embryo to make sure the foreign organ was still functioning,” the French news agency said. “The baby is expected to be delivered via C-section and the uterus to be removed from Sert in the months following the birth to avoid further complications and the risk of rejection.

“The young woman had started to menstruate after the transplant, which her doctors had said was an important signal that the womb was functional,” they added. “Experts however warn the pregnancy carries several health risks to the patient as well as to the baby, including birth defects due to the use of immunosuppressive drugs as well as preterm delivery.”

Her husband, 35-year-old Mustafa Sert, told reporters they were hoping for a healthy child, and that they did not care whether the baby wound up being either a boy or a girl. However, if the child does wind up being male, they plan to name it Omer in honor of Omer Ozkan, the surgeon whose team performed the transplant, said Solé.