Although few men would readily admit it, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a widespread problem for men over 40. Nowadays, there are many pharmaceutical treatments available for men with ED. However, many erectile dysfunction solutions require you to “plan ahead” for your possible sexual encounters and have several contraindications and side effects.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, on the other hand, offers a more permanent and steady solution. Although the treatment is more involved than simply taking a pill, PRP therapy can help you achieve more predictable and longer erections for years to come.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) (also known as male sexual dysfunction) is the frequent inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sex. This goes beyond the occasional incident, which can be attributed to fatigue or stress. Erectile dysfunction is often accompanied by reduced libido and premature ejaculation, and it has a strong mental component, which makes it particularly impactful on a patient’s quality of life.
As men age, ED becomes progressively more frequent, as the corpus cavernosum (the “hollow” tissue inside the penis, which fills with blood during an erection) becomes progressively damaged, loses elasticity, or doesn’t receive enough blood quickly.
The full list of erectile dysfunction causes is spread across different specialties: from urology to weight management or traumatic accidents.
Common erectile dysfunction causes include chronic lifestyle conditions, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to high cholesterol), blood pressure problems, diabetes, or low testosterone levels. According to the American Urological Association, ED is considered a “risk marker” for cardiovascular disease, and they counsel anyone diagnosed with ED to see their family doctor about it.
Occasionally, ED can also develop more abruptly due to a severe injury, such as Peyronie’s disease (when scar tissue develops inside the penis, disrupting blood flow) or damage to the pelvic area or spinal cord.
Autologous platelet-rich plasma injections are a relatively new treatment, which is gaining traction as a way to heal from injuries, reverse the effects of aging, and improve sexual health. It is also being used to repair tendons and muscles, in combination with shockwave therapy.
When used against erectile dysfunction, PRP is usually called “the P shot” after the “Priapus shot,” which was one of the first trademarked forms of PRP.
For this treatment, doctors use a patient’s own blood cells (which is why it’s called “autologous”). First, they will withdraw some blood from the patient, just like a blood donation. The blood is then run through a centrifuge to separate all the different blood components. Next, two of the resulting elements are combined: plasma (the liquid portion of the blood) and platelets (the small cells tasked with wound healing).
The resulting fluid contains more platelets than regular blood (hence why it’s called “platelet-rich”). Finally, this is injected directly into a specific area of the body to promote rejuvenation.
Platelets are responsible for blood clotting and tissue regeneration. They contain a unique type of hormone known as “growth factors,” which can increase the rate of healing in a specific area.
When applied directly into the penis, these growth factors will slowly help the corpus cavernosum regenerate, improving the elasticity of blood vessels in the area, and restoring blood flow. In turn, this will increase sensitivity in the area and help you achieve and maintain an erection.
After PRP ED treatment the penile tissue will need some time to regenerate. The effect will be progressive, and you can expect to notice changes in your sexual performance within a week or less. You may need to wait between two to six weeks for the full results.
The P-shot does not contain any red blood cells or antibodies, or blood products from other people. This means it will be much less likely to produce an allergic reaction or toxicity from excessive red blood cells. Unlike other forms of regenerative medicine, such as stem cells, patients won’t need to undergo a lumbar puncture or spend weeks finding a donor.
In addition to improved erectile function, patients have reported the following benefits after PRP treatment:
For many men, erectile dysfunction is a complex topic. While pharmaceutical ED treatment options such as sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis) are easy to obtain, many men feel embarrassed about being found with them. Plus, men with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or some types of cancer can get seriously ill from these medications.
On the other hand, PRP treatment for ED offers a discreet and more natural alternative for the long-term treatment of erectile dysfunction.
According to the FDA, autologous platelet-rich plasma therapy is still ranked as “experimental.” However, we now have several clinical studies on PRP for erectile dysfunction – including placebo-controlled clinical trials – so we can be reasonably confident about the safety and effectiveness of PRP.
One of the most significant studies is a clinical trial from 2021, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. This was a randomized double-blind study: they examined 60 patients with mild to moderate ED and divided them into two groups at random. Half of them were given PRP shots, while the others were provided a placebo shot. After six months, 69% of the patients who received a PRP shot described noticeable improvements in their sex life, while only 27% of those in the control group did.
As far as safety goes, Dr. Maya Epifanova’s team published a systematic review study in 2020. They compiled the data from 10 human and animal studies on PRP injections. They noted that PRP was not linked to any adverse reactions in these studies.
But is PRP a miracle cure for ED? Unfortunately, in the realm of sexual medicine, there are often complex factors at play that go beyond physical causes.
As effective as platelet-rich plasma injections are, it’s important to note that your mental health can easily influence your ability to get an erection. After a single “poor performance,” men often lose confidence and develop bedroom anxiety. This can easily exacerbate the problem and make ED harder to cure, even by an experienced urologist.
To administer PRP for erectile dysfunction, a doctor will inject platelet-rich plasma fluid directly into the penis, guided by an ultrasound scan. The entire appointment usually takes less than an hour – and most of it is spent waiting for the centrifuge to process the blood components. It doesn’t require hospitalization, and you should be able to go home and resume your routine immediately after.
In most cases, a single dose injection will be enough to eliminate ED. Under the current guidelines, if no results are felt after three to four weeks, a second shot may be necessary. The effects will last for approximately two years.
As a general rule, erectile dysfunction shots are considered a safe treatment option, and they carry a very low risk of an allergic reaction.
However, some patients should not undergo any type of PRP therapy. Most of these contraindications are related to blood clotting disorders or anemias since this makes drawing blood riskier. These include:
PRP has almost minimal side effects, and complications are infrequent. However, the following have been reported:
As a general rule, if you have never experienced any problems when donating blood, receiving an injection, or having blood drawn for tests, you are unlikely to experience any of these side effects.
Although PRP is safe and quick to administer, there are still relatively few doctors who have access to a centrifuge or have been specifically trained on erectile dysfunction injections.
Dr. Nazarian, the founder of PRP Treatments Beverly Hills, is a leading PRP specialist in Los Angeles. He has built a calm and high-tech environment at his Beverly Hills office where patients can get superb service in a spa-like atmosphere. In addition, our office is providing PRF treatment for ED as well as stem cells derived from umbilical.
His team of kind nurses and expert phlebotomists help him ensure that every step of the treatment is comfortable and follows the strictest quality standards.
Call 844-669-0939 now to schedule your consultation.
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