01 July 2014

Laboratory-grown vaginas

Four teenage girls have received vaginas grown from their own cells in a lab. And they work.

These girls were born with underdeveloped or missing vaginas because of a rare condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome that affects about 1 in 5,000 women. While their labia looked like those of other girls, their vaginas, cervixes and wombs, which are necessary for menstruation and childbirth, never fully formed.

Medical researchers took a vaginal tissue sample from each patient, who were between 13 and 18 at the time, and used them to grow cells in the lab. After four weeks, the researchers had enough cells to layer them on to degradable scaffolding...

Six months later, the patients were able to menstruate and have sexual intercourse for the first time. “After the operation they were able to function normally,” Atala told reporters. “They had normal levels of desire, arousal, satisfaction and orgasm.” Some may also be able to have children.
Further details at the Washington Post.  Image from a video at the Wall Street Journal (safe for work, unless someone at work is offended by tissue culture).


  1. I'm more surprised that the article got all the anatomical names correct than I am that this is possible.

    (But seriously, yay! What a resounding success. I hope this means other organs are following quickly.)

  2. 13 years and six months is too young to have sexual intercourse.


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