Jesus, who came into the world on March 13 at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, is the first baby born after a uterus transplant in Spain. The boy’s mother had her uterus transplanted, donated to her by her own sister, in October 2020. Almost three years later, Jesus was born premature, but healthy. He has been admitted to the center until this Monday. This little guy is one of the 50 children of the planet born after a uterus transplant, a surgery “tremendously complex” comparable, for example, to a face transplant. And, for the first time in Spain, the Clínic, the public healthcare, has made it possible.
The Murcian Tamara Franco, 34 years old, is the mother of little Jesus. Tamara was born with Rokitansky Syndrome, a congenital disorder of the female reproductive system It affects one in every 5,000 women in the world: they are born without a uterus or fallopian tubes and, therefore, cannot become pregnant. “Since I was little I always wanted to be a mother”, The woman explained this Monday at a press conference, in a Assembly hall of the Clínic to overflowing, full of toilets and journalists attentive to know all the details of what the ‘councillor’ of Health, Manel Balcells, has described as “small miracle of science”.
It all starts in 2015
At the age of 15, Tamara knew that could not be a mother and that moment was a “strong blow” for her. But his true story dates back to 2015, eight years ago. Neither in Murcia, where she and the baby’s father are from, nor in Valencia, where she went to ask for help, could they solve her problem. So Tamara arrived at the Clinic.
Tamara’s sister and little Jesus’ aunt He was the one who donated her uterus to Tamara. “We present the first project [de este caso] to the ethics committee in 2015 and, from here, there was a long pilgrimage that passed through several bioethics committees. Before doing this transplant, We went to different countries to see cases of womb transplants,” has explained Francesc Carmona, Head of the Clinic’s Gynecology Service. He has not hidden his emotion when explaining Tamara’s case. “Today is one of those days that make you feel proud of the public health system”, has stressed the ‘minister’ Balcells.
Thus, after obtaining judicial permission, the Clínic carried out the uterus transplant in October 2020. It was surgery, in the words of Carmona, “tremendously complex”: obtaining the uterus lasted 11 hours and the implant, five. In November 2020, a month later, Tamara had her first menstruation. “That first period was the first sign of the success of the intervention,” said the gynecologist. Eight months later, the professionals began the transfer of previously collected embryos.
tamara managed to get pregnant but had a abortion. Was a difficult process: In the middle of the pandemic, he was infected with covid-19. It had to stimulate him the embryos again. But finally, a pregnancy test confirmed that she was pregnant. And, on March 10 of this 2023, with 10 weeks in advance, the Clínic performed a Caesarean section after which Jesus was born, who has been admitted to the neonatal ICU, but who is “normal” right now. “He was a Very slow process, but it has been worth it. Thanks to all the medical team”, said Tamara.
“A Friendship Story”
“Tamara is pure strength”, has highlighted for his part Antonio Alcaraz, the head of Urology at the Hospital Clínic, to explain how the woman did not stop until she became pregnant. Alcaraz wanted to explain that the story presented this Monday at a press conference is actually “a history of friendship of more than 30 years” between him and Dr. Carmona. “We owe everything to the Clínic”, he said visibly moved. “We surgeons don’t cry, we put all our emotions aside and we become blocks of ice.” This urologist has also recalled that infertility makes many people suffer.
According to doctors, worldwide there are more than 50 children born by a womb transplant, which gives an idea of “tremendous success” of this technique, according to Carmona, which is also applicable to women with “absolute uterine factor” (that is, those women for whom the uterus does not work). Nails 107 women have consulted the Clínic about a womb transplant, two have been transplanted (one of them, Tamara) and another two are in the process of study.
On the possibility of including this practice in the portfolio of health services, the ‘minister’ has remarked that a experimental program has to be “tested and demonstrated” and has advocated letting professionals go through all the evaluation steps.
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