Commonly experienced but rarely spoken about, erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined simply as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.
ED affects as many as 1 in 4 men, and evidence indicates the incidence is rising.
In many cases, ED may not be caused by just one factor. It’s usually a combination of things, such as a person’s underlying medical conditions, mental and emotional state as well as their lifestyle. Some of the common causes include:
- Endocrine diseases – hormonal imbalance is something that is more and more evident in society today. This can be attributed in part to our diet and the number of toxins we expose ourselves to on a daily basis.
- Cardiac related conditions – you might recall the staggering number of young adults with heart issues I wrote about.
READ: Getting A Heart Attack At A Young Age
- Vascular or neurological disorders – blood flow issues and circulatory disorders of the pelvis and penile region is a commonly occurring issue when it comes to diagnosing erectile dysfunction. This is also pertinent to heart function. The better the heart is at its primary function of pumping blood throughout the body, the better blood circulation is. Once we optimise circulation to the penis, erections will significantly improve.
- Medications – some medications especially hypertensive medications can adversely affect erections. It is a good idea to bring your medications to your healthcare professional for a review if you feel this may be a concern for you.
- Lifestyle and emotional disorders – we’ve got to keep moving! A sedentary lifestyle is less beneficial for all the contributing factors mentioned above.
In this article, we’ll look specifically into the process of reducing inflammation (injury) to the blood vessels in the penis. With less insults to the area, the penis itself will be happier and this almost always guarantees a better erection.
The new kid on the block for ED treatment is the P-shot, or Priapus shot, named after the Greek god of virility. In a nutshell, the P-shot is an injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in the penis which will help with ED.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a substance that’s thought to promote healing when injected. Plasma is a component of your blood that contains special “factors,” or proteins, that help your blood to clot. It also contains proteins that support cell growth. With this new cell growth spurt, we can dramatically improve the rejuvenation rates of the cells and reduce the effects of stress and oxidation to the tissues.
Basically, with this improvement to cell nourishment, the penis as an organ will be able to function better. Happier, if you will.
What is the principle behind PRP usage?
When we administer PRP, we are administering a small amount of very concentrated preparations of growth factors. With this high degree of concentration, the effects of the growth factors are amplified.
The process of extracting such a rich preparation of growth factors is the main differentiation between your body producing the nutrients and us injecting it into the body.
When can it be used?
Apart from a P-shot, we have been using PRP in various areas of medicine for the similar congregated effect of reducing inflammation and improving tissue health in the body. Considering that this is such a local process (meaning we inject it directly into the preferred area), we have experience injecting PRP into various other sites of the body. For instance:-
- Hair loss: PRP injections are effective in treating androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness). That being said, this is usually done after a comprehensive review and excluding other causes of hair loss.
- Joint & Tendon injuries: Common injuries such as tennis elbow, knee arthritic conditions, and other aches and pains have been shown to improve with PRP injections.
- Acute injuries: We can also use PRP technology to reduce inflammation and therefore pain in recent injuries such as pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains.
Based on this premise, the P-shot was developed. After all, if it could successfully help with tissue repair in muscles and tendons, why not the tissue responsible for erections?
It is rather new in terms of its medical usage for erections. Therefore, the evidence of this practice of P-shots are not as widely available as say, the use of oral medications (such as Viagra or other PDE5-inhibitors) for improving an erection. That being said, the scientific principles are sound and we tend to see improved reactions in almost all of its other uses as mentioned above.
How is it done?
- It is always best if you do not have a natural fear of needles (there will be a significant amount of these used here).
- A blood sample is first drawn.
- The sample is then placed into a centrifuge and allowed to separate. The separation process can take about 15 minutes. It is crucial that the centrifuge and separation technique used here be appropriate to the intended use.
- The plasma is then extracted and prepared for injection.
- We then inject said plasma into different sites on the penis. No worries, we will be generous with local anaesthesia prior to injection. You will not be asleep for the process, but it will significantly reduce the pain sensations in relation to the injections.
Are there side effects to the P-shot?
I wish I were so confident to tell you that there is absolutely no side effect to this. In reality, what we’re doing is a combination of procedures.
- A blood draw – this is definitely a generally safe procedure but you can have some pain and swelling in the site following this.
- Re-injection of the plasma into the penis – as you can probably guess, this is very much biased to the skill of the person injecting you as well.
- The process of numbing the area for injection – here, we may use creams or an injection (again!) to appropriately numb the area prior to injection. This is where you may be susceptible to allergic reactions as well.
The good thing here is that whatever we are injecting back into you was originally produced by your body to begin with. This significantly reduces any chances of an allergic reaction or rejection of the PRP.
Also, as with any injectable process, there is an unlikely but possible chance of developing an infection at the site of the injection. You’d have to monitor the site for any chances in skin colour, temperature or pain that may impair your daily activities. If any complications arise, please see your nearest healthcare professional as soon as you can.
What sort of chances can I expect from a P-shot?
- In some cases, the best cosmetic outcome would be a noticeable difference in the girth of the penis. This is not easily replicable and it usually does not mean a larger erection. It is simply appearing larger than it was considering the injection was recently done. It can in some cases be just due to swelling following the injection. This can be a bit of a downer, sorry about that!
- Stronger erections
- In some cases of Peyronie’s Disease (abnormal curvature of the penis), it can help reduce the degree of the bend in the penis
- When used in combination with other therapeutic measures (creams, medications, penis pumps etc), it can enhance an erection even further.
- Enhanced sensitivity and overall enjoyment of sexual intercourse
How many times would I need to do a P-shot before I can notice effects?
This in general, depends on how healthy you are to begin with. With less factors to impair healing, some people notice an effect almost immediately. Most people can start seeing improvements with repeated sessions. We usually advise treatment sessions about three to four weeks apart. Peak maturation of changes can take up to two to four month to be noticed.
How long will the effect of the PRP treatment be?
In certain people, the effects of the P-shot can be rather long lasting with them not requiring a revision to this. This is similar to the aforementioned where if you are already well and healthy prior to starting treatment, the results post treatment tend to be better.
We can always do multiple sessions spaced out. In most cases, the results are better and more permanent with repeated sessions. We usually advise a review one month after the first session and we can consider the next injection within the first six to 12 months or when you notice that erections are less satisfying.
Although the P-shot is a relatively new treatment option, it is quickly gaining a reputation as a quick, long-lasting remedy with little to no adverse effects.
As is the case with any sort of medical procedure, it is always best to first have a chat with your doctor about what may be the causes for ED and what will be the best method to get what you need in the safest way possible.
Next read: P-shots – Setting Expectations Right