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By Kicki Lindbergh kicki.lindbergh @

Published January 23, 2011 09:27 Updated January 23, 2011 10:42

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Photo: Anders Ylander
"The ability to have sex and have children is obviously very important," says Lotta Wassén, gynecologist and Mats Brännström, professor of gynecology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, which performs the unique operations.

Ten to fifteen girls are born without a vagina

LONDON. Ten to fifteen girls are born each year without a vagina and uterus in Sweden. The phenomenon is unknown to most people. Many suffer in silence. But new techniques have opened the door to a future where the creation of both vaginas and transplanted uteri.

Today is vaginal surgery and a research team at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital are preparing what could be the first successful womb transplant in the world. - It feels great to be able to help these women, says Mats Brännström, professor of gynecology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital Women's clinic! 1 in 4500 girls born with birth defects, so-called Rokitanskysyndromet. - So far we have done a dozen operations.

Alone in Skanidinavien

"Emma" is one of the first with a dilationsvagina which gradually pushes out the lining. Sahlgrenska University Hospital alone in Scandinavia to make the unique operations. - A vagina can be created in different ways. There are several methods, continues Mats Brännström. Patients can choose which method they want. - This group looks on the outside like the other women, says Lotta Wassén, a gynecologist in the team.

Functioning ovaries

"They have the clitoris and functioning ovaries produce eggs and hormones, but no bleeding, they may never. They are also difficult to have intercourse. The cause of abnormality is that both the vagina and uterus degenerate already at the embryonic stage," continues Lotta Wassén. "Why is not known." "Regardless of method, the tough months after the procedure," says Mats Brännström. "First, after four months, most patients have sexual intercourse. The vagina is then a normal length of about 10 centimeters, but the mucosa need another six months to grow. The next step is to transplant a uterus in these women" When will it become a reality? "Hopefully in a few years." And the goal - a pregnancy? "Yes, that's the goal."

New methods can create a vagina

  • taking a piece of intestine and build a vagina.
  • using a piece of skin anywhere on the body, which then may grow and form a vagina.
  • use pre-existing mucosa, in the pit where the vagina should have sat and where the body's own cells, in combination with stretching, create a vagina.

Categories: Surgery

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Page last modified on July 15, 2011, at 09:58 AM