The P-Shot involves taking platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your blood and injecting it into your penis. This means your doctor takes your own cells and tissues and injects them into your penile tissues to promote tissue growth and purportedly give you better erections.
The most popular form is called the Priapus Shot. This name, taken from the Greek deity of sexual health, was first used by Dr. Charles Runels (of Kardashian vampire facial fame) and caught on from there.
Unfortunately, there’s been very little research done for any of the specific claims you’ll see the P-Shot marketed for. So before you take the P-Shot to your P (or to your V), here’s what to know.
What is PRP?
PRP therapy involves injecting a concentration of platelets from your own blood into your body. Platelets are involved in normal wound healing and mechanisms like blood clotting.
The P-Shot is based on PRP therapy used in recovery from muscle and joint injuries and explored for treating chronic health conditions.
In all cases, it’s considered an experimental treatment.
In short, the P-Shot has been used as an alternative treatment in cases including:
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- lichen sclerosus
- Peyronie’s disease, a condition in which scar tissue makes the penis curve when it’s erect
- penis enhancement
- general sexual function, performance, and orgasm enhancement
So, does it work?
All we have to go on is anecdotal. If it works to enhance sexual function, no one knows why, whether it’s repeatable or not, what outcomes are, or how safe it is.
Orgasms happen (and don’t happen) for a number of physical, mental, and emotional reasons. A shot may not actually do anything for the root cause of your ability to have orgasms.
According to Dr. Richard Gaines, who provides the P-Shot along with other therapies at his LifeGaines practice, the benefits of this treatment on sexual performance may be attributed to:
- increased blood flow
- repair responses in some tissue or cells
- new neural pathways being established (from new experiences and positive reinforcement)
the placebo effect
- A 2019 review of current research on PRP for male sexual dysfunction found there is no research to clearly show the benefits, safety, and risks of this procedure.
2019 reviewfound that there was extremely limited evidencethat PRP had a positive impact on ED.
- And another 2019 review concluded that the studies that have been done on PRP for male sexual function are too small and not well-designed.
- In a 2017 study of 1,220 people, PRP was combined with the daily use of a vacuum pump to enlarge the penis. While participants experienced increased penis length and girth, this can be achieved by a penis pump alone, and the effect is temporary. Use of the pump can physically draw blood into the penis for a period of time. But using one of these too often or for too long can actually damage tissue in the penis, and lead to erections that are not as firm.
Overall there needs to be more research into PRP use for men’s sexual health.
This procedure is elective and only offered by a few trained doctors. It’s also not covered by most health insurance plans. You may have to pay quite a bit out of pocket for it.
The Hormone Zone advertises the procedure for about $1,900, but doesn’t say exactly what’s included in the cost.
According to the 2018 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, the average doctor’s fee for a single PRP procedure was $683. That average doesn’t include any other expenses of the procedure like what’s needed for prep, instruments, and care at the facility.
Start with your doctor
Your first stop should be your primary care physician, or your urologist (for people with penises) or gynecologist (for people with vaginas). They may have some experience fielding questions about this procedure or know of a specialist who performs the P-Shot (if not themselves).
At the very least, they’ll likely be able to get you in contact with a reputable facility or point you in the right direction.
Ask all the questions you have
Here are some questions to consider as you search for someone to do your P-Shot:
- Are they licensed or certified to practice medicine by a recognized medical board?
- Do they have an established clientele with positive reviews and results?
- Do they have substantial information on their website about costs, how they do the procedure, before-and-after pictures (if applicable), and anything else you want to know?
- Are they easy to get in touch with, either by phone, email, or through an office administrator?
- Are they willing to do a quick “meet-and-greet” consultation or answer some of your initial questions?
- What steps or options are involved in their P-Shot treatment?
Consider your options
One practitioner of the P-Shot is Dr. Richard Gaines. He opened an “age management” practice, LifeGaines Medical & Aesthetics Center, in Boca Raton, Florida, in 2004. His website claims that the P-Shot can “allow your body to reclaim its biological responses to stimulus.”
Another facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, called the Hormone Zone, specializes in hormone treatments and offers a P-Shot treatment. They advertise the following benefits:
- ED treatment
- blood flow and nerve sensation improvement
- stronger and more intense orgasms
- higher stamina during sex
- more libido and a more sensitive penis
- works alongside testosterone therapy
- helps with sexual function after prostate surgery
- makes the penis longer and wider
Remember that these facilities make money off these services, so their info may be biased. Second, there’s very little evidence for any of these claims.
You don’t need to do anything specific to prepare for this procedure.
You may want to get a physical or a full set of laboratory blood tests to check your overall health if you haven’t already done so in the past year. Making sure you have healthy blood, plasma, and platelets is crucial.
The P-Shot is an outpatient procedure, so you can go in, have it done, and be out later that day. You may want to take a day off work or other responsibilities to allow yourself enough time to get it done, but this isn’t necessary.
When you arrive at the facility, you’ll likely be asked to lie down on a table and wait for the doctor to begin. Once the procedure begins, the doctor or assistant will:
- Apply a cream or ointment that numbs the genital area and give you a local anesthetic that numbs the area around it, too.
- Take a blood sample from your body, usually from your arm or somewhere non-invasive, into a testing tube.
- Put the testing tube in a centrifuge for a few minutes to separate the components of your blood and isolate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
- Extract PRP from the testing tube fluid and put them into two separate syringes for injection.
- Inject PRP into the penile shaft, clitoris, or area identified as the Gräfenberg (G) spot. This is completed in a few minutes with about 4 to 5 separate injections.
- Give a penis pump to people who received an injection into the penile shaft. This helps draw blood into the penis and ensure the PRP is working as intended. You may be asked to do this yourself daily for 10 minutes over a few weeks. But using one too often or too long can damage elastic tissue in the penis, leading to less firm erections.
And you’re done! You’ll probably be able to go home in an hour or less afterward.
You’ll probably have some minor side effects from the injection that should go away in about four to six days, including:
Some rare complications may include:
- outbreaks of cold sores if you have a history of herpes simplex virus
Recovery is quick. You should be able to resume normal activities, like work or school, the same day or the next.
Avoid having sexual intercourse for a couple of days after the procedure to avoid infecting the injection sites. Try to limit intense physical activity for a couple days, too, so that sweating or chafing doesn’t irritate the area.
Your results can vary widely based on your overall health as well as other factors that may be contributing to your sexual function. Some people see results right away after one treatment. Others may not experience results for several months or until they’ve received multiple treatments.
According to Dr. Gaines, based on his experience as a provider of the Priapus Shot at his practice, he categorizes responses to treatment into three general buckets:
- Early responders see effects within the first 24 hours.
- Normal responders see effects in three to six treatments; after the second treatment they notice a change in responses. In one month or two months they reach the peak of their results.
- Late responders see good results in three to four months.
Gaines added, “[With] very severe ED, which means several years it’s been an issue, there’s a lot of variables.”
The P-Shot needs more research to support it. If you’re interested in trying it, talk at length with a provider. Also consider speaking with a different doctor who is independent of the P-Shot provider.
Keep in mind that your erections and orgasms happen because of a combination of blood flow, hormones, and physical states that can be influenced by your mental and emotional health.
If you’re not experiencing any results from the P-Shot, you may want to investigate any health issues that may be impeding your sexual performance. You can also see a therapist, counselor, or sexual health specialist who can help pinpoint what’s keeping you from complete sexual satisfaction.