Most of us (women that is) are incredibly lucky. We may forget to appreciate the fact that our bodies are truly amazing and can do things like produce children and have orgasms. But not all women are that lucky. There is a very rare disease that I came across when finding interesting topics to include on The O Guide. Recently Time Magazine published an article about four girls who have received lab generated vaginas. These four girls have a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome.
What is MRKH Syndrome?
According the US National Library of Medicine, MRKH Syndrome is a rare condition in which only females are affected. The condition causes the vagina to be underdeveloped or absent. The women with this condition have normal functioning ovaries and other reproductive development (i.e. normal breast development, pubic hair, normal exterior genitals etc).
Symptoms or ways to detect MRKH Syndrome?
Indicators that a young girl could be affected by MRKH syndrome include abnormally formed skeletal bones particularly in the spine and other abnormal organs including the kidneys.
There are 1 in 4,500 girls affected by MRKH Syndrome and doctors/researchers are still unsure as to why some individuals are affected by the condition and others are not. More Research, direct resources and other information regarding MRKH Syndrome can be found HERE.
Lab generated organs are a relatively new way to solve conditions such as MRKH. The four girls who received the lab generated vagina’s had their surgeries somewhere between 2005 and 2008. (Read the full story Here and a more detailed report here and the original study here ) The tissues used to create the vaginas were from each individual girls own cells and muscles and shaped by a biodegradable material that once placed into the body the organ is able to expand, adapt and the biodegradable material is absorbed into the body safely. According to the doctors, the girls where observed and monitored over 8 years after the surgery was complete and that MRI’s show that the lab generated organs are “similar in makeup and function to native tissue”. The women all report normal desire, arousal, lubrication and sexual function including orgasm. Unlike other attempts to create reproductive organs out of existing tissue, which has lead to complications 75% of the time in young patients, the lab generated vaginas so far have been extremely successful.
Beyond reproductive organs, lab generated organs proves to be a viable way to replace organs and body parts (like noses, which has been done as well) that individuals were born with out or as a result of genetic disorder or even injury.
Isn’t science amazing!?