Holy Hormones Journal: Just what I feared- a surgery/implantation for a specific syndrome now marketed to a wider demographic near you. Although teen girls had a genetic condition, the implantation process is now being considered with women with vaginal cancer and other ‘injuries’. Is it possible that our vaginas are going to be lumped into the same category as our breast, ovaries and uterus – “You do not really need them?
I have asked this question before and I am asking again. What is left of being a woman? I invite you to pick up a medical textbook on gynecology at some point in time. When I picked up my first book in the 1970’s – my first response was this is nothing more that the manipulation and intervention of a natural process.
Author and radical feminist, Mary Daly turned my head again with her book GynEcology.
“Many feminists have noted the significance of the fact that the massacre of the wise women/healers during the witch craze was followed by the rise of man midwives who eventually became dignified by the name ‘gynecologist’. Gynecology was slow to rise. Man-midwives of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were under fire from woman midwives, such as Elizabeth Nihell*, who described their instruments as ‘weapons of death.’ Nevertheless, the nineteenth century witnessed the erection of gynecology over women’s dead bodies. By 1883 – the year of the death of J. Marin Sims, the ‘father of gynecology’ (known as the’ architect of the vagina’) – gynecologists could ‘apply their knives to the whole range of woman’s being, reduced as it was to sex’.
*Elizabeth Nihell (1723-?) was married to a surgeon-apothecary. A mother herself, she studied in Paris and returned to London to practice midwifery. She argued that women, not men such as William Smellie, should practice midwifery.
Remembering women’s history is crucial to understanding how and why these procedures have been developed over the years. Not only did our feminist foremother’s have to fight for every human right we hold today – they had to fight for the right to control our bodies. It is apparent that this is one battle they lost – and one that women today accept as being ‘sacrificial lambs’ at the alter of profit.
Lab-Grown Vaginas Successfully Implanted In 4 Teenage Girls; Offer Normal, Pain-Free Function 8 Years Later
By Chris Weller | Apr 10, 2014 06:30 PM EDT
Eight years after they received initial implantation, the first recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs are still enjoying normal, pain-free function, a new study published in The Lancet reports.
The four teenagers, ages 13 to 18 at the time of their surgery, were all born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which the vagina and uterus either underdevelop or fail to develop at all. Given the success of the current patients, researchers from Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine believe the treatment could also apply to women who suffer from vaginal cancer or have sustained serious injuries.
“This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said team leader Dr. Anthony Atala in a news release, adding that the study reflects regenerative medicine’s wide applicability. “This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries.”
Scientists originally began construction on the organs by drawing samples of the patients’ own muscles and cells, in the form of biopsies, from their external genitals. They extracted the cells from the tissues, expanded them, and worked each model into the shape of a vagina with the help of biodegradable scaffolding. Roughly five to six weeks after the biopsies, surgeons created a canal in the patients’ pelvis, where they could implant each of the scaffoldings and attach them to reproductive structures. From there, the body takes over. New tissues and cells latch on to the scaffolding and the body eventually replaces it with its own, real organ.