Doctors believe the procedure could help infertile women whose only options now are surrogacy or adoption. Around 35 weeks, doctors performed a caesarean section and delivered a healthy baby girl, weighing nearly six pounds and measuring almost 18 inches long.
After the recipient's womb and ovarian are functioning, the embryos are transplanted into her uterus - generally at least one year after the transplant. And just seven months after the operation, doctors began in vitro fertilization, through which the woman's own fertilized eggs - which had been harvested prior to the transplant surgery - were transferred to her new uterus. The donor was 45-years-old and had borne three children in her lifetime before dying of a stroke. Currently, only 10 known cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors exist, but all had failed to produce a live birth.
11 other births have resulted from living donors, including women who donated their uteruses to their daughters.
"The need for a live donor is a major limitation as donors are rare, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends".
According to reports, the success of this procedure means that there will be a larger option of donors available for those who have trouble conceiving because of uterine factor infertility. "This is a life-giving transplant, a new category", said Dr. Allan D. Kirk, the chief surgeon at Duke University Health System, who was not involved in the research. Likewise, the mother's health required months of ongoing monitoring to ensure that she didn't suffer any adverse effects from having the uterus transplanted and then later removed.
"When a transplant is dome from a live donor, there is a greater responsibility towards both the donor and recipient, but in a dead body the doctors can be a bit relaxed", Ms Sharma said.
On the other hand, the researchers state that transplants from deceased donors might have some benefits over donations from live donors.
But Dr. Tullius said surrogacy comes with its own challenges, from compensation to the ethics of asking a woman to undergo the rigours of pregnancy.
"This is not in the case of a kidney or liver transplant, clearly because the vagina is an exposed area and since you are unable to identify what kind of organisms were growing, there is a potential danger for rejection", Ms Rao added. The organ was transplanted to the 32-year-old in a surgery that took 10 and a half hours.
Three teams in the USA, including O'Neill's, are now working on uterine transplants. "There is the potential for uterus transplantation becoming mainstream".
Eleven children have been born following uterine transplantation from living donors, the first of which occurred in Sweden in September 2013.
"This was the most important thing in her life", he told AP. Fifteen were fertilised, with 8 resulting in embryos that were subsequently preserved for later implantation.
Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus - due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection - that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.