Doctors Successfully Create And Implant Working Lab-Grown Vaginas For Women (And Men)
PSST! Want to buy a vagina? Four women born with an underdeveloped or absent vagina have been living with artificial ones for the past four years. The women suffer from Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH).
* Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a disorder that occurs in females and mainly affects the reproductive system. This condition causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent. Affected women usually do not have menstrual periods due to the absent uterus. Often, the first noticeable sign of MRKH syndrome is that menstruation does not begin by age 16…
The Verge notes:
The traditional treatment for women with MRKH involves reconstructive surgery or painful dilation procedures. These interventions can be quite traumatic — they have a complication rate of 75 percent in pediatric patients — so researchers wanted to find a way to avoid them altogether. That’s why they set out to engineer vaginas, described in a study published in The Lancet today that would be compatible with each patient.
The vaginas are made from human cells removed from the women’s genital areas.
Anthony Atala, a urologist at Wake Forest University who conducted the trials, and his team took “a very small piece of tissue from the patient, less than half the size of a postage stamp, and we then teased the cells apart and grew the cells separately.”
The enlarged cells were attached to a biodegradable scaffold fashioned to look like a vagina best-suited to each patient.
Six weeks later, the women had their vagina’s sewn onto their reproductive structures. The hope was that the patients’ nerves and blood vessels would bind to the new tissue. It worked. The scaffolding was absorbed. The vagina remains. Atala writes:
“We now show up to an 8-year follow-up with those organs showing functionality.”
But not full functionality: the women can achieve orgasm through sex but not give birth.
And, yes, men, you may soon never need to go out again…