A picture of a pregnant woman. A 36-year-old Swede has become the world's first woman to give birth after receiving a womb transplant.
A 36-year-old Swede has become the world's first woman to give birth after receiving a womb transplant, medical journal The Lancet said on Saturday, describing the event as a breakthrough for infertile women.
The healthy baby boy was born last month, it said. Both mother and infant are doing well.
Weighing 1.775 kilos (3.9 pounds), the baby was born by Caesarean section at 31 weeks after the mother developed pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy condition, the journal said.
The woman had a genetic condition called Rokitansky syndrome which meant she was born without a womb, although her ovaries were intact.
The surgeons said the exploit smashes through the last major barrier of female infertility — the absence of a uterus as a result of heredity or surgical removal for medical reasons.
"Absolute uterine factor infertility is the only major type of female infertility that is still viewed as untreatable," they said in a paper published by the British journal.
The replacement organ came from a 61-year-old woman, a close family friend who had been through menopause seven years earlier. The organ was transplanted in a 10-hour operation last year.
The recipient underwent in-vitro fertilisation, in which eggs were harvested from her ovaries and fertilised using sperm from her partner, and then cryogenically preserved.
A year after the transplant, a single early-stage embryo was inserted into the transplanted womb. A pregnancy test three weeks later was positive.
The womb encountered a brief episode of rejection, but this was successfully tackled by increasing a dose of corticosteroid drugs to suppress the immune system.