The birth of Benjamin Thomas Gobrecht defied both expectation and imagination: his mother, 33-year-old Jennifer Gobrecht, was born without a uterus. Benjamin, who arrived in November 2019 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, grew inside a womb Jennifer received as part of an organ transplant research trial over a year earlier. Benjamin is the first baby born as part of Penn Medicine’s Uterus Transplantation for Uterine Factor Infertility (UNTIL) trial, which launched in 2017. He is the second baby in the nation to be born following the transplantation of a uterus from a deceased donor.
Jen was born with a congenital condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which means she has functional ovaries but does not have a fully formed uterus. MRKH affects approximately 1 out of every 4,500 females and makes it impossible for women to get pregnant or carry a child. It’s one example of Uterine Factor Infertility (UFI), which is a previously irreversible form of female infertility that affects as many as five percents of reproductive-aged women worldwide. A person with UFI cannot carry a pregnancy either because she was born without a uterus, has had the organ surgically removed, or has a uterus that does not function properly.
The uterus transplantation done as part of this clinical trial is a complex investigational procedure that involves both surgical and medical management. More than 35 health care providers and clinical investigators are involved in each trial participant’s care over the course of a five- to 10-year research period, which spans IVF, transplantation, and birth, to long term follow-up after delivery and after the surgical removal of the organ after delivery.
Learn more about Penn’s Uterus Transplant Program: https://www.pennmedicine.or...
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