PRP for Erectile Dysfunction: Research, Benefits, and Risks

Can PRP Treat Erectile Dysfunction? Research, Benefits, and Side Effects

Medically reviewed by Kevin O. Hwang, MD, MPH — Written by Daniel Yetman on March 6, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Healthline

Edited for content

What is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a component of blood that’s thought to promote healing and tissue generation. PRP therapy is used to treat tendon or muscle injuries, stimulate hair growth, and speed recovery from surgery.

It’s also used as an experimental or alternative treatment option for:

  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • penis enlargement
  • sexual performance

There’s currently little research on the effectiveness of PRP for ED. In this article, we’re going to break down what scientists have found so far. We’ll also look at alternative treatment options and potential side effects of PRP therapy.

How does it work?

Your blood is made of four different components: red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

Plasma is the liquid part of your blood and makes up about half of its volume. Platelets are critical for helping your blood clot after an injury. They also contain proteins called growth factors that help speed up healing.

The theoretical benefit of PRP for ED is to make the tissue and blood vessels in the penis healthier.

To prepare PRP, a medical professional takes a small sample of your blood and spins it in a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the plasma and platelets from the other parts of your blood.

The resulting PRP mixture has a much higher concentration of platelets than regular blood. Once the PRP is developed, it’s injected into your penis. This is called the Priapus Shot, or P-Shot.

The P-Shot is a quick procedure, and you’ll likely be able to leave the clinic in about an hour. You also don’t have to do anything to prepare in advance for the procedure.

What does the research say?

Many clinics offering PRP for ED claim that it’s effective, but there’s limited scientific evidence to support their claims. Using PRP for ED is experimental, and its effectiveness is still under review.

A 2020 review looked at all the research available to date on PRP therapy for male sexual dysfunction. The review looked at three animal studies and two human studies for ED. The studies didn’t report any major adverse reactions to PRP therapy.

The researchers concluded that PRP has the potential to be a useful treatment option for ED. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the studies had small sample sizes, and there weren’t adequate comparison groups.

More research is needed to understand the benefits of PRP treatment. The current evidence is mostly anecdotal.

How does PRP compare to other ED treatments?

At this time, it isn’t clear if undergoing PRP therapy will help improve symptoms of ED. Traditional treatment options might be a better alternative until more research is available.

Many people with ED have success with traditional treatment options, which usually target the underlying cause of ED. Your doctor can evaluate you for potential causes of ED, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes, and recommend the best treatment option for you.

Common ED treatments include:

  • Medications. ED medications allow the blood vessels in the penis to relax and increase blood flow.
  • Lifestyle changes. Becoming more physically active, eating a healthier diet, and quitting smoking all have the potential to improve ED.
  • Talk therapy. Talk therapies might help improve ED if it’s a result of psychological causes, such as anxiety, stress, or relationship problems.
  • Targeting underlying conditions. ED is often caused by an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease. Treating these conditions has the potential to improve erection quality.
How much does PRP cost?

Few insurance plans currently cover PRP because it’s still considered an experimental treatment. The cost of the P-Shot can range widely among clinics. According to the Hormone Zone, the P-Shot procedure costs about $1,900. However, some clinics may charge up to $2,200 for treatment.

According to the 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, the average doctor fee for a PRP procedure was $683, not including facility and instrument cost.

Finding a doctor

If you’re interested in having PRP treatment for ED, talk to your doctor. They can answer your questions about PRP and refer you to a specialist who performs the treatment. Globally, there are at least 683 registered clinics that can administer PRP for ED.

PRP is usually performed by a doctor or surgeon. However, laws on who can perform the treatment may vary between countries.

When looking for somebody to perform PRP, check their medical credentials to make sure they’re licensed by a medical board before you make an appointment.

If possible, you may also want to speak to one of their previous clients to see if they were happy with their results.

Risks and side effects

The 2020 review mentioned earlier found no major adverse effects in the study participants. However, researchers can’t say whether or not PRP is a safe treatment for ED until more research comes out.

As of now, there have been few clinical trials, and the sample sizes have been too small to make any conclusions.

PRP is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction since the substance being injected is coming from your body. However, as with any type of injection, there’s always a risk of complications, such as:

  • infection
  • nerve damage
  • pain, including pain at the injection site
  • tissue damage
  • bruising
Takeaway

PRP therapy is still an experimental treatment. At this time, it isn’t clear if PRP can help treat ED. The procedure is relatively expensive and isn’t covered by most insurance companies.

Early research looks promising, but until studies with large sample sizes and control groups come out, you may want to stick with traditional ED treatments.

If you’re having trouble getting an erection, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. They can test you for underlying medical conditions that may be causing ED and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Rogaine and Low Libido: What Are the Facts?

Learn the Facts About Rogaine and Low Libido

Medically reviewed by Harshil Matta, DO — Written by Kimberly Holland — Updated on August 13, 2020

This article is a repost which originally appeared on HealthLine

Edited for content

What is Rogaine?

In an effort to reverse or disguise hair loss, many men reach for over-the-counter hair loss treatments. One of the most popular, minoxidil (Rogaine), poses a variety of potential risks.

Rogaine has been available for several decades. The medication is available at pharmacies and drugstores nationwide. It’s also available as a prescription from your doctor.

Rogaine is a topical treatment intended to promote hair growth. It can also be used to slow hair loss.

However, Rogaine is not intended to stop balding or correct receding hairlines. When you stop using Rogaine, new hair growth will likely be lost within a few weeks or months.

How is Rogaine used?

Rogaine comes in two forms:

  • a liquid you apply directly to your scalp
  • a tablet you take by mouth

Follow your pharmacist or doctor’s instructions carefully.

Using more than prescribed will not yield better or faster results. Visible results may not appear for several months to more than a year.

What are Rogaine’s side effects?

Using Rogaine increases your risk for several side effects. These side effects include:

  • scalp sensitivity
  • skin dryness
  • skin flaking
  • irritation or burning sensation at and around the application site
  • increased heart rate

Using Rogaine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunscreen, and sunglasses when outside.

Rogaine and erectile dysfunction

To date, no scientific studies have made a connection between Rogaine and sexual dysfunction.

Men who take Rogaine and experience problems with libido, erection, or performance will often find another contributing factor that explains their symptoms.

One study published in 2014 found that Rogaine had an effect on the activity of androgen receptors, but the authors are very clear in stating that the effects are in the hair follicle only.

Currently, there’s still no confirmed evidence that Rogaine negatively affects the male libido, although research continues.

Newer treatments, such as finasteride (Proscar, Propecia), have also been introduced to the market.

Propecia was hailed as a less messy alternative to Rogaine. People who use that drug only have to take a pill once a day by mouth.

An early study involving men who used finasteride and complained of side effects found that sexual dysfunction was the most common, particularly libido and erectile dysfunction.

Other well-conducted research studies display side effects in much lower numbers of all users of finasteride. Those effects are usually reversible once the medication is stopped.

Those same men reported that their number of sexual encounters fell during and after use. Unfortunately, those side effects are long-lasting.

Men in the study experienced these unwanted side effects for an average of 40 months after stopping the medication.

When to call your doctor

If you’re interested in regrowing hair or slowing hair loss, speak with your doctor about your options. If you begin taking a medication for hair loss, remember to keep track of any side effects and complications.

Should you begin experiencing side effects, tell your doctor. Detail what you’re experiencing and how quickly the symptoms began after you started the medication.

Be sure to also tell your doctor about any other medications, supplements, and vitamins you’re taking. A combination of certain medications and chemicals can potentially cause problems.

Helping your doctor identify any possible complications will help to manage side effects before they become severe.

Lastly, if you begin having sexual performance problems or issues with dysfunction, see your doctor. The change in sexual performance may have nothing to do with your Rogaine use.

Working with your doctor will ensure you find a cause for your sexual problem and a lasting solution.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know

This article is a repost which originally appeared on Women Fitness Magazine

Sexual Dysfunction: What All Men Should Know : All around the world, millions of men secretly suffer from health problems that prevent them from experiencing a fulfilling sexual life with their partner. Whether it’s the inability to get erect, ejaculate, or a loss of sexual desire or stamina, these issues affect men of all ages and backgrounds but tend to manifest with age.

More often than not, sexual potency problems arise from underlying physical or psychological causes that must be treated to allow gentlemen to enjoy healthy and satisfying sex life. In that spirit, here’s a useful reference guide covering sexual dysfunction problems in men, along with what you can do if you ever suffer from one of these conditions.

What is Sexual Dysfunction?

Essentially, male sexual dysfunction encompasses all physical or psychological conditions that avert gentlemen from experiencing normal sexual activity. These typically involve bedroom issues such as having a difficult time maintaining an erection, ejaculating too early or too late, or simply not feeling the desire to engage in intercourse. They diverge in nature and gravity and have a different diagnosis, causes, and treatments. As such, understanding these problems will enable the patient to treat it effectively and durably.

Types of Male Sexual Disorders

When it comes to sexual potency issues in men, it’s important to analyze each condition individually to fully grasp its extent and select the most appropriate solution. Sexual dysfunction comprises three main types, including:

  1. Erectile Dysfunction

    Perhaps the most widespread sexual potency issue, erectile dysfunction (ED) is characterized by the inability to grow an erection or maintain one throughout intercourse. Needless to say that impotence can have a great negative impact on performance and self-esteem, but ultimately, it’s perfectly treatable. For your reference, it’s been estimated that nearly 1 in 2 American men over the age of 40 suffer from ED to varying extents.

  2. Abnormal Ejaculation

    Another common concern pertains to ejaculation or the act of ‘coming’. While there’s no standard duration that dictates how long a man should last in bed, ejaculating too early, too late, or not at all can pose problems in a couple’s sexual dynamic. On the one hand, premature ejaculation makes a man reach orgasm too early, typically in less than 5 or 10 minutes. Naturally, this can prevent the partner from having an orgasm themselves. On the other hand, delayed ejaculation (also referred to as male orgasmic disorder) involves experiencing late ejaculation, over 30 minutes in the intercourse, or non-ejaculation.

  3. Diminished Libido

    Reduced sexual appetite can also block men from having a fulfilling sex life. It’s characterized by a decreased interest or desire in partaking in intercourse, despite having the physical ability to (usually no erectile or ejaculation problem here). Diminished libido is typically a sign of a deeper psychological ailment, which brings concrete repercussions and prevents a man from enjoying a healthy and dynamic life. There’s a lot more to find out here on how to boost your sexual stamina and drive for your pleasure and that of your partner’s. Invariably, consulting specialized online guides can be an effective first step towards alleviating this debilitating condition.

Common Causes

In modern days, thanks to the advancements in the scientific and medical fields, we possess a much clearer understanding of what may cause gentlemen to experience sexual potency issues. These symptoms often come together and result in sexual dysfunction. On a physical level, low testosterone levels, high blood pressure, prescription drugs, smoking, alcoholism, or drug abuse can take an immense toll on a man’s sex life, along with existing conditions such as diabetes, nerve damage, or strokes. On a psychological level, stress, depression, performance anxiety, relationship problems, or past sexual trauma has been proven to cause performance issues.

Treatments

Fortunately, all these sex-related problems have proven and tested remedies. The Doctor or healthcare professional will typically start by asking questions relating to your sexual activity, frequency, and habits, which you should answer in all honesty and transparency to establish the right diagnosis. Next, they will proceed with a battery of tests (blood pressure, blood sugar levels, testicular examination, prostate check) to determine whether everything is in working order. They will then prescribe the appropriate solution, whether as medication or therapy, to be followed thoroughly.

All things considered, sexual dysfunction in men can take many forms and arise from a variety of physical or psychological predispositions. Regardless of what you’re dealing with, there’s no point in feeling shame or anguish; instead, focus on finding the cause of your ailment and seek the professional medical help you need to overcome it and start enjoying a fulfilling sex life once again. Remember that, the more proactive you are, the higher your chances of finding a permanent solution to your problem.