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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a natural treatment which reinjects platelets and growth factors into your body, which have been gathered from a sample of your own blood. This produces a healing response in the body to repair and rejuvenate an area. It has been used safely in many therapeutic areas such as sports medicine, dentistry, orthopaedics, hair loss and cosmetic medicine. PRP therapy for sexual rejuvenation, in both men and woman, is a newer application of the PRP technique and is used to treat erectile dysfunction, to heighten sexual satisfaction, reduce vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse, and to regain or improve female orgasm. The treatment is sometimes marketed at P-shot® (or Priapus Shot®) for men, O-shot® (or Orgasm Shot®) and Rejuvula for women, or by the generic term of PRP treatment for sexual rejuvenation. Usually, only one treatment session is required and you can expect to pay up to £1,500 depending on the symptoms being treated and the PRP method used.
Records show that only 14% of women in the UK talk to their GP about sexual matters, although studies have shown that up to 48% may be concerned about some aspect of their sexual health. Concerns can be age dependent, but lack of female orgasm can occur at any age. Vaginal dryness and pain during sex is more common in older women, but can occur in younger women. Sexual problems in females is complex and a holistic approach is usually recommended.
In men, 30% will suffer from erectile problems during their lives, but only 3% seek help from a GP. The medication sildenafil, of which the best-known brand is Viagra®, is a well-known solution for men.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy was first developed in the 1970s, and first used in 1987 in Italy. Since the mid-1990s it has been used in cosmetic medicine, orthopaedics, dentistry and sport science, to name but a few medical uses. Its usage has increased dramatically since 2007.
PRP therapy for sexual rejuvenation is a newer application of the PRP technique which has been used safely in these other therapeutic areas. PRP treatment has been applied for sports, trauma and disease injuries for some time, and more recently for hair loss and skin rejuvenation treatments, such as the Vampire facelift concept.
PRP is autologous (obtained from your own body); natural (unlike the injection of synthetic hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, for example), and non-antigenic (doesn’t stimulate an immune reaction).
The technique makes use of the plasma (the liquid portion) of your blood, separating it from the suspended red blood cells, and injecting the platelets and their associated growth factors to help rejuvenate body tissues. Platelets are an important part of wound healing and tissue repair and this technique makes use of their natural ability to restore tissues.
For sexual health problems in both men and women, they can be used for treating erectile dysfunction and other penile abnormalities or size issues in men, plus an inability to achieve orgasm, painful sexual intercourse or vaginal dryness in women, as well as overall improvements in sexual satisfaction and libido for both genders.
If you are considering PRP for sexual rejuvenation, the following information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure. It can't answer all your questions, since a lot depends on your individual diagnosis. Please ask your practitioner about anything you don't understand.
What Is It?
This is a natural product made from a sample of your own blood. The larger, red blood cells are removed by spinning the blood sample, using a centrifuge, which leaves the plasma containing a high density of platelets – hence the term Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP).
Platelets are cell fragments that are linked to the wound response mechanism in the body, for example in the blood clotting response.
PRP also contains pluripotent stem cells that have the potential to develop into several different skin types to replace those that may be lacking in number, or function. It also contains Growth Factor Proteins (cytokines) that can stimulate cells to proliferate and repair tissue, increasing volume, blood supply, and rejuvenating tissue structure and function.
When used to treat sexual health problems, the PRP is injected into the erogenous areas of the body that are to be treated, such as the vagina and penis. The injections are made using a very small bore needle and shouldn’t be painful but can be uncomfortable.
Types of PRP for Sexual Rejuvenation
You will find a lot of references to the “P-shot®” (or Priapus Shot®) for men, (named after Priapus, a minor Greek God of fertility), and the “O-shot®” (or Orgasm Shot®) for women. These are trademarked (and U.S. patented) treatments which are marketed by clinics and practitioners who have been specifically trained in this proprietary technique by the trade mark owners. The concepts were originally developed and invented by American Dermatologist, Charles Runels, MD.
There are other PRP treatments available for sexual rejuvenation for both men and women that may be known by another trademarked name, such as Rejuvula, pioneered by French Cosmetic Doctor, Dr. Daniel Sister, or simply referred to by the generic PRP technique or procedure for sexual rejuvenation.
There are different methods of preparing the PRP for re-injection; for example, how long and at what speed the blood sample is centrifuged for and the device and collection tubes used, as well as other agents added during the creation of the injectable PRP. There are some practitioners that prefer spinning the blood sample twice, once to remove the red blood cells and then again to concentrate the platelets in the plasma prior to injection. Your practitioner should be able to tell you about the exact method used at their clinic and explain why they think it is most advantageous for this application.
There are many treatments available to men and women for sexual health problems. Before undertaking PRP treatment you should consider consulting with your General Practitioner and accessing other solutions, such as psychological support or counselling; pharmacological interventions (e.g., phosphodiesterase type 5 drugs such as Viagra®) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). These options can be accessed both through the NHS or privately.
If you choose to go ahead with PRP treatment you may be asked to do some things before treatment starts. For men, you may be asked to regularly use a penile pump for 2 to 6 weeks to stimulate the area ready for healing. If treatment is for a desired increase in girth or length you will be required to do this more regularly than if treatment is for erectile dysfunction for example. There are not usually any pre-treatment requirements for women.
What Can It Treat?
In Men – sexual dysfunction; such as erectile dysfunction, and small or abnormal shaped penises.
Results may also include: improved libido; increased erection quality; heightened sexual pleasure; increased sexual stamina; increased penile girth and length; improved blood flow and circulation.
In Women – anorgasmia (the inability to achieve climax or orgasm), lack of interest in sex, poor vaginal lubrication, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), and urinary incontinence.
Results may also include: improved libido; more pleasurable and frequent orgasms; improved natural lubrication; decreased pain during intercourse.
Careful discussions regarding your reasons for wanting Platelet Rich Plasma therapy for sexual rejuvenation are very important. You must also make sure that this treatment can deliver what you want and how you would like to feel afterwards. Your practitioner should be able to answer all these questions.
A full medical history should also be taken to make sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t undertake this treatment. You may be asked to sign a consent form which means that you have understood the potential benefits and risks associated with the procedure.
A numbing cream (topical local anaesthetic) will be applied to the areas that are going to be injected. A small amount of blood (10-20ml) is drawn from your arm, in much the same way as a blood test is performed in a GP’s surgery. This sample is then spun in a centrifuge using a sterile pack that ensures safety.
What follows next will depend on the specific PRP technique and system used. For some practices, after centrifuging, the PRP must be activated by the addition of calcium chloride or gluconate to initiate the fibrin clotting process. The platelet rich matrix must then be used within 10-12 minutes before it solidifies. The PRP will be injected into the erogenous areas. For women, this may include injections into the clitoris and vaginal wall, or just into the vaginal wall, depending on the diagnosis. In men, the injections are made into the penis, into the two sponge like cylinders of tissue in the shaft of the penis, known as the corpus cavernous.
Initial treatments may take between 40-60 minutes. Usually one treatment is considered enough, but in some cases, you may be recommended to have another treatment approximately 4 to 8 weeks after the first. This is to initiate another healing and growth factor cascade into the area for an increased result, depending on the application of the treatment. You may then wish to have top-up treatments over the coming years. Results are expected to last up to 1.5 years, but each patient is different and results achievable will vary per individual, dependent on the symptoms treated and the age of the person.
Photographs may also be taken by the practitioner for a "before and after" comparison later, particularly for men, if erectile problems or penile abnormalities are being treated. A questionnaire on sexual health may also be completed at different time frames to assess and analyse the effectiveness of the treatment.
Treatment can be performed in a lunchtime appointment taking 40-60 minutes. Most people can return to work immediately afterwards, so there is none, or little, down time.
Sanitary pad protection is advised for women post-treatment in case of spot bleeding.
In either sex, there may be sight redness or swelling in the injected area(s) and loose undergarments are recommended for comfort and to assist healing.
Side Effects and Risks
In Men – The procedure is considered comfortable with a mild pinching or pressure sensation during treatment. There are generally no side effects from PRP treatment injected into the penis, but you can expect the effects of the numbing cream to last for 30 – 60 minutes after treatment, at which point you may notice mild soreness which can last for 24 hours or so. There may be redness or mild bleeding at the points of injection.
In Women – Again, the procedure is regarded as comfortable due to the application of the local anaesthetic cream, often meaning that a sensation of pressure is all that is felt. Side effects are again few but may include soreness after the anaesthetic wears off and bleeding or spotting from the injected areas for a day.
When PRP is used for sexual rejuvenation it does involve injecting intimate areas of the body and therefore carries a risk of infection, bleeding, bruising and less commonly nerve damage.
You should be advised on appropriate post-treatment requirement, and should follow all after care advice given by your practitioner.
As the treatment involves injections, there is a risk of infection, bruising or bleeding in the area and you will be advised how best to take care of it, including bathing and suitable clothing to minimise these risks.
Most people can resume normal exercise and activities, including sexual activity on the same day.
If you have any concerns at all then you should contact your clinic.
The full effect may take days, or even weeks, to be noticeable and so it would be a good idea to keep a record, or diary, of your own post-treatment experience for future reference and review.
This treatment should not be offered to pregnant or postnatal women, and those still breast feeding. You may be asked to perform a pregnancy test prior to treatment if you are not sure whether you could be pregnant.
PRP treatment in this area would also not be given to anyone with;
• a sexually transmitted disease;
• a urinary tract infection or someone who is prone to these infections;
• a low platelet count;
• hypofibrinogenaemia (fibrinogen deficiency);
• haemodynamic instability (collapse of blood vessels);
• sepsis (or other infections);
• chronic liver disease;
• or receiving anti-coagulation therapy (warfarin, dabigatran, heparin).
Men with diabetes who might be experiencing problems with their sexual health should consult their GP in the first instance. A full health check prior to treatment should expose any other contra-indications.
Who Can Do It
This treatment should be performed by medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses who are trained and experienced in the use of Platelet Rich Plasma therapy to treat sexual rejuvenation for the relevant gender, (some clinics specialise in one gender, some treat both).
Find a specialist clinic for Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy for sexual rejuvenation in the UK and Ireland
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is not available as a treatment for sexual rejuvenation on the NHS, although other treatment options are provided through the public healthcare system.
We would always recommend that you visit your General Practitioner (GP) before embarking on private treatment for sexual or genital problems. As well as their advice and guidance they may also be able to refer you to a local NHS Hospital who can treat you depending on the condition or concern.
Prices for PRP treatment for sexual problems will vary depending on the clinic and the condition being treated. Expect to pay approximately £1,000 - £1,500 for one course of treatment that might give beneficial effects for up to 18 months. The frequency of repeat treatment depends on the individual and the condition treated.
The use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is still relatively new in the field of aesthetics, especially in relation to sexual health concerns, but the individual testimonies seem to be encouraging to others looking for help.
As of 2017, there have been no long-term, randomised controlled trials of PRP specifically to treat sexual dysfunction in women, but some rat studies have been performed looking at male erectile dysfunction with positive results. Some more recent studies have started to analyse the evidence base for the use of PRP to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Anecdotal evidence for the use of PRP for these indications is generally positive.
There are perhaps more alternative treatment options available for men, than women, and sexual health and satisfaction in women is much more multifactorial, which therefore may make it more difficult to treat.
Because PRP is natural and autologous, using the body’s own healing processes, it is considered safe. It is also mostly painless, with minimal down time. The results are very individual and you need to be clear about what you expect to happen, and be realistic about the outcome you can achieve.