Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuester-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH) is a female congenital disorder that results in the absence of a womb, eliminating the ability to reproduce. Its name comes from the four researchers who discovered the disorder. The first sign of MRKH typically does not appear until a girl is 14-15 years of age, at the time when she normally would begin to menstruate. A trip to the doctor to ascertain why her menses is delayed results in ultrasound tests that reveal the condition. There are usually no outward signs. All aspects of the remaining reproductive organs are normal. The MRKH syndrome is present in approximately 1 in every 4,500 newborn girls, which in the United States translates to roughly 75,000 women. Its cause is unknown and there is no hard evidence that the condition is inherited. The syndrome is emotionally devastating, as a young girl faces the prospects of not being able to deliver a baby.
Until now, that is. For the first time in history, a woman with MRKH has become a biological mother. Through a miraculous series of events and stunning medical/technological developments, a Swedish woman with MRKH delivered a baby boy they have named Vincent. Vincent was born two months premature due to his mother developing pre-eclampsia, but other than his tiny size, he is normal and healthy.
The unnamed 36-year old Swedish woman is the first in the world to receive a uterus transplant that succeeded and enabled her to carry almost to term a healthy baby. She learned about the possibility of a uterus transplant from scientists at the University of Gothenburg, in Sweden. The uterus was from a 60-year old woman who had completed menopause and was willing to donate her womb. The transplant was carefully watched for six months to ensure that the transplanted tissue would not be rejected and that the reproductive organs would bond appropriately. Following this period of observation, the young woman began to menstruate, final proof that the transplant had been completely successful. After another six months, she was ready for the implant of one of her previously frozen embryos, and she thus became pregnant. The pre-eclampsia caused the need for an immediate Caesarean section, but following several days of observation, the baby was permitted to go home and now a Swedish woman, who at the age of 15 thought that her future as a mother was only through adoption or a surrogate pregnancy, has experienced the joy of delivering her own child.
At this moment in time, little Vincent has no idea of the mark on history his arrival in the world has made. But he and his mother have opened the door, hopefully, for thousands of women to now fulfill their dreams of becoming a mother. The procedure is risky and requires much development, but still it is very good news for all the women across the world with MRKH syndrome.