Sunday, 12 July, 2020


Women with transplanted uterus gives birth to ‘miracle’ baby

Drew and Jennifer Gobrecht with their newborn Ben Drew and Jennifer Gobrecht with their newborn Ben
Patty Aguilar | 12 January, 2020, 16:52

She was born with a rare condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, or MRKH, and never got her period.

33-year-old Jennifer Gobrecht was born without a uterus and underwent a uterine transplant in 2018. Their relationship quickly blossomed, and according to Jennifer, their vision of a future together soon included a family.

"Everything we went through peaked for him and it was flawless our little miracle", she said. "That was always our vision that we had". Jennifer Gobrecht learned of her genetic abnormality when she was 17 years old.

Doctors say that one day it will become a normal option for women. Her ovaries were said to be functioning well but her uterus was not properly developed. "It was a very painful thing to hear at that age".

"That was very hard to hear as a teenage girl who dreamed of being a loving mother", Gobrecht said. "Like many young girls, I dreamed of how it would feel to grow a baby in my womb, to feel them kick inside me, and those dreams disappeared". About 5% of reproductive-age women worldwide are affected, according to Penn Medicine. The syndrome is one of the many conditions collectively referred to as uterine factor infertility.

But Dr. Kathleen O'Neill, one of the lead trial investigators at Penn, said uterine transplantation could give couples like the Gobrechts another option besides adoption and the use of a gestational carrier.

Aside from the University of Penn, Baylor Medical Center in Texas is also conducting a clinical trial of uterine transplants-though Baylor's studies stem from living donors rather than deceased.

Gobrecht, who was born with ovaries but without a uterus, was selected to be the first patient in a trial at Penn Medicine that hopes to help five women who otherwise could not carry their own children.

"Uterus transplant is the only path to parenthood that will actually allow these women to carry their own pregnancies", she said. The first of its kind in the US occurred previous year at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

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