4 Women Get Lab-Grown Vaginas

Patients now have normal sexual function
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 12:33 AM CDT
Updated Apr 11, 2014 2:00 AM CDT
4 Women Get Lab-Grown Vaginas
A professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and taken demonstrates the process to engineer a vaginal organ in a laboratory in Winston Salem, N.C.    (AP Photo/WFBMC Photography)

Four young women are experiencing normal levels of "desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction" and pain-free intercourse after having lab-grown vaginas implanted, doctors say. The implants—created in a US lab with tissue samples and a biodegradable scaffold—were used in teenage patients starting eight years ago, but this is the first time the results have been made public, the BBC reports. The implants became indistinguishable from native tissue within months and the women are theoretically now able to have children, reports NBC.

The women were born with a rare genetic condition called vaginal aplasia, in which the vagina fails to form properly while they are in the womb, LiveScience explains. "Truly I feel very fortunate because I have a normal life, completely normal," one of the woman says. In Switzerland, meanwhile, researchers have used similar techniques to build new noses for cancer patients, CNN reports. Complications have been virtually nonexistent in both cases, and researchers say the successes move "tissue engineering towards the mainstream of organ and tissue replacement needs." (More vagina stories.)

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