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

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.

3 Methods to turn them on for Better, More Connected and Deeper SEX

3 Methods to turn them on for Better, More Connected and Deeper SEX

We’ve partnered with TotalMan and will be presenting regular video features from this comprehensive site!

In this video, TotalMan discusses techniques for better sexual performance.

Could you imagine doing one simple thing in the day and it resulting in not only your partner wanting to jump you in bed for sex that night however sex ends up feeling better, more intense and deeper than ever before?

I’d like to promise you, if you at least follow just one of the 3 points I’m going to lay out in this video, you’re going to make that happen.

3 ways to connect with your partner for more a more loving relationship and more intimate, intense and deeper sex than ever.

So whether you’re a man or a woman loving a woman or a man, it does not matter.

Your partner wants to feel connected to you, just as you want to feel connected to them.

The more connected you are, the more open, more vulnerable and even more inviting you both will be to one another not only in life however especially in the bedroom where the real magic happens.

This is a feelings game. Full stop. Fin. Done. Once you master that you will find the intensity and intimacy only inevitably increasing in the bedroom.

It’s often said that a way to a mans heart is through his genitals and a way to a woman’s genitals is through her heart.

So doing any of these 3 points are going to win you some serious brownie points and a way to her heart because essentially all of this says, I’m listening, I know how your feeling and I care.


9 Benefits of Maca Root & Its Potential Side Effects

maca root benefits and side effects

maca root benefits and side effectsMaca root is the root of a plant native to Peru. Scientifically known as Lepidium meyenii, it’s also sometimes known as ‘Peruvian ginseng.’ Maca is actually a cruciferous vegetable – think broccoli, cabbage, kale, or cauliflower, and grows at very high altitudes (above 13,000 feet!) in the Andes mountains.

The root is the edible part of the plant and has been used for generations in both Peruvian cuisine and traditional medicines. Lately, it’s increased in popularity, with claims of improved energy, increased fertility and enhanced sex drive.

What are the Benefits of Maca Root?

Maca root has numerous benefits that has helped popularize it in areas outside of Peru, especially in the form of powdered capsules, as a supplement. These include:

  1. 9 benefits of maca rootVery Nutritious – Like other cruciferous veggies, maca root has packed with vitamins and minerals. A 1 ounce capsule of maca root powder contains:
    — Vitamin C – 133% of RDI
    — Vitamin B6 – 15% of RDI
    — Copper – 85% of RDI
    — Iron – 23% of RDI
    — Potassium – 16% of RDI
    — Manganese – 10% of RDI
    — Protein – 4 grams
  2. Increased Libido – A 2010 scientific review of 4 randomized clinical studies found that after 6 weeks of taking maca root, both male and female participants reported increased levels of desire.
  3. Increased Male Fertility – A review of 5 studies showed maca improved the semen quality of participants – both those who were healthy and those who were infertile. One study of 9 healthy men found that after consuming maca root for 4 months, participants noted a marked increase in both sperm count and motility.
  4. Relieve Menopause Symptoms – As estrogen declines in aging women, menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, irritability, and sleep issues can occur. Maca root has been shown to not only help alleviate some of these symptoms, but also studies indicate maca can help protect bone health, possibly preventing osteoporosis in menopausal women.
  5. Mood Improvement – Research has shown a positive correlation between maca and mood enhancement. It’s believed that the flavonoids in maca are responsible for this reduction in both depression and anxiety.
  6. Improved Physical Performance and Energy – Athletes and bodybuilders use maca to:
    — Increase endurance,
    — Increase strength,
    — Increase muscle mass, and
    — Boost energy.
  7. UV Protection – When maca extract was applied to the skin, like a salve, research found that it helped protect the skin from UV radiation, protecting the skin from sunburn and damage. Of course, this protection does not occur when maca is eaten.
  8. Memory & Learning Improvement – Like ginseng, maca root has been shown to improve memory and learning. This is particularly true for the black variety of maca root.
  9. Reduced Prostate Size – Enlarged prostate is a common issue men experience as they age. It can cause several issues, including challenges with urination. Red maca, with its high levels of glucosinolates, has been shown to help reduce the size of the prostate. This is also associated with reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

What are the Side Effects of Maca Root?

maca root varieties side effectsAlthough maca root is generally safe, it’s always important to talk to your physician to make sure you don’t have any conditions that may make it riskier to take or any current medications you are on could interact poorly. Because of the goitrogens in maca, people with thyroid issues shouldn’t take maca, as these can interfere with the normal functioning of your thyroid.  Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should also talk with their doctor, as the maca could be passed to the fetus or nursing child.