Artificially Grown Sex
Organs May Soon
Be Possible

WASHINGTON - Because of recent breakthroughs in genetic research it may be possible within 25 years to artificially grow penises and vaginas that can be implanted as functioning organs in humans, the Impotence World Association said on Friday.
With more than 80 million men and women in the United States suffering from some form of impotence, doctors say sexual healing, especially for women, is just around the corner with new developments in genetic research and Viagra-like drugs.
Dr. Myron Murdock, national director of the impotence group, said in the near-future scientists will be able to construct male or female genitalia from human cells by culturing and growing them over an appropriately shaped lattice or mold. In the process of these cells growing, differentiation into the various layers of the vagina and penis will occur.
"As unbelievable as this may be, the process of tissue engineering, and the ex vivo (outside the body) production of functioning human organs such as the penis and vagina are being done today in the laboratory,'' he said.
Male and female genital organs which are missing, nonfunctional, or inadequate may be replaced by the artificially grown organs which would be "surgically implanted to produce a functioning, erogenous sexual organ,'' he said.
New "miracle drugs'' for impotence will also soon be available for men and women, Murdock said.
In 1998, Viagra became the first FDA-approved oral drug treatment for male erectile dysfunction.
Since then a barrage of new drugs and treatments have sought U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval including TAP Pharmaceutical's apomorphine drug called Uprima, which stimulates pelvic congestion " erection in men and arousal in women.
Also in development are new and more specific versions of Viagra " known to scientists as type-5 phosphodiesterase inhibitors. They will cause fewer side effects such as facial flushing, headaches, indigestion and vision disturbances, Murdock said.
"Some of these newer, more specific Viagra-like drugs will work faster, and may last up to 24 hours, making sexual relations more spontaneous,'' said Murdock, a urologist and clinician and surgeon.
In the next few years, sexual dysfunction treatments specifically for women, who suffer in greater numbers then men, will be widely available, Murdock adds.
For example, Viagra could be licensed for use by women in three to four years, its manufacturer Pfizer Inc. said in October. "(Viagra) may be the start of providing medication for women,'' Murdock said.