First successful womb transplant recipient passes six-week pregnancy mark

The first woman to receive a successful uterus transplant from a deceased donor is this week officially six weeks into a normal, healthy pregnancy, Turkey’s Akdeniz University Hospital stated on Monday.


The statement reported a fetal heartbeat from Derya Sert, the 22-year-old Turkish woman, who was born without a uterus.

Ms Sert’s womb transplant came after a first attempt at the same procedure in 2000 on a patient in Saudi Arabia. The womb was from a living donor, however doctors had to remove the transplant due to heavy clotting, 99 days after transplantation.
File photo of in vitro sperm injection into oocyte,
Image: Ekem.

However, after Ms Sert’s transplant surgery in 2011, she began to menstruate — an indication of a working womb. Ms Sert’s doctors in Antalya, Turkey monitored the long-term success of the transplant for 18 months before in vitro fertilisation.

Despite no uterus, Ms Sert did produce egg cells. This March, doctors fertilised one of these eggs, and placed the resulting embryo in Ms Sert’s functioning transplanted womb.

Since Ms Sert’s transplant, two women received mother-to-daughter womb transplants at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden last September, the first such mother-to-daughter transplants, reportedly without complications. Ms Sert is the first womb-transplant recipient to become pregnant.

Doctors plan birth by Caesarean section, and removal the transplanted uterus within a few months thereafter to avoid further health problems, including possible rejection.

Amongst anticipated health risks of the pregnancy is birth defects from immunosuppressive drugs taken to prevent rejection of the transplant.

Reportedly, one in 5,000 women are born without a womb, while others lose their womb to disease.

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9 Responses to "First successful womb transplant recipient passes six-week pregnancy mark"

  1. melpenguin  May 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Whew! Thank God science is here to solve the pressing problem of underpopulation! I feared humans were on the brink of extinction but thanks to this amazing research, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Tax money well spent :)

  2. Vanai  May 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

    “Doctors plan birth by Caesarean section, and removal the transplanted uterus within a few months thereafter to avoid further health problems, including possible rejection.”

    Heaven forbid adoption.

  3. Patty  May 4, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    It’s easy to say that when you can have your own children…if there are millions of kids in the world but none of them is really yours, it’s sad…even if you think it’s a natural way to stop humanity from growing even more…your feelings tell you something else…well that’s my point of view, in case you didn’t know what a woman with this kind of problems thinks

    • melpenguin  May 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Why is it so important that the child is yours? Do those women not have the capacity to love someone who is not their own kin? Is it simply their genetic programming telling them to have kids of their own, because the Selfish Gene wants to propagate itself? Is it societal conditioning, saying that a woman is less of a woman if she is not a mother?

  4. Soso  May 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Every woman in earth wants to have her own child , this is the human nature which we can’t do anything about it.
    Thanks God and wish her a successful delivery :)

    • melpenguin  May 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      Then that means I am not a woman? That many women who chose not to have children are not women? Have you asked every woman on earth?

    • Joce  May 8, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      I refuse to have my ‘own’ children. There are way too many children in the world without loving families. I would feel selfish and guilty to bring another child into the world when there are so many that already exist that could use my love and resources. The last time I checked I’m a woman on earth.

  5. Cindy  May 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Wow, really? The comments are cruel. Yes, while humans are not caring for the billions of children THEY brought into the world, how can you overlook the amazing science behind this? A child born to a parent who desires and will love it and care for it is better than a child born to parents who do not care for it after it is born. The insensitivity in these posts is astounding.

    • melpenguin  May 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      How do you know she’ll care for it well? Just because you really want something now, doesn’t mean you’ll still want it once you have it.

      Also, IMHO science has much much more pressing matters to attend to. Things like heart transplants and kidney printing – now THAT’s amazing life-saving science. Also, perhaps studying why so many people have children and then abandon them – that would be amazing science.

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