Lab-grown vaginas have been successfully implanted in four women
We have gone a step further in the world of Science as yesterday, it was announced that four women received lab-grown vaginas between 2005 and 2008. The women, who were between 13 and 18 at the time of the surgery, were all born with a rare genetic condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH) — a condition that causes about one in 4,500 girls to be born with either an underdeveloped or absent vagina and uterus. The traditional treatment for women with MRKH involves reconstructive surgery or painful dilation procedures.
According to the BBC, Experts said the study, published in the Lancet, was the latest example of the power of regenerative medicine. The vaginal organs themselves were generated by adding several of cells — epithelial cells that line body cavities, as well as muscle cells — biopsied from the women’s genital areas. Apparently they 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 cells were thereafter expanded and sewn onto a biodegradable scaffold that the researchers had previously shaped into a vagina tailored to each patient. Six weeks later, the women underwent surgery.
For the process of the implant, the surgeons first had to create a canal in the women’s pelvic areas. The surgeons then seamed the biodegradable scaffold to the patients’ already existing reproductive structures. Some time after the operation, the women’s nerves and blood vessels gradually expanded and started integrating themselves into the engineered tissue.
A pain free sex and orgasm experience
As time went on, the artificial tissue became attached to the women’s native tissue. The women are now able to experience sexual desire, pain-free sex, and can even reach orgasm. The negative side of its all is that this operation, however, will not allow them to bear children.