A P-Shot is an experimental treatment for erectile dysfunction and other conditions. Most evidence on the P-Shot and its safety is anecdotal, so proceed with caution.
The P-Shot involves taking platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your blood and injecting it into your penis. This means your doctor takes your 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.
There’s been little research done for any 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.
PRP therapy involves injecting a concentration of platelets from your blood into your body. Platelets are involved in 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.
The P-Shot has been used as an alternative treatment in cases including:
The evidence is anecdotal. If it works to enhance sexual function, no one knows why, whether it’s repeatable, what the outcomes are, or how safe it is.
Orgasms happen (and don’t happen) for many physical, mental, and emotional reasons. A shot may not 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 in Florida, the benefits of this treatment on sexual performance may be attributed to:
- increased blood flow
- repair responses in some tissues or cells
- new neural pathways being established (from new experiences and positive reinforcement)
the placebo effect
- A 2019 review of research on PRP for male sexual dysfunction found no research to clearly show the benefits, safety, and risks of this procedure.
2019 reviewfound that there was minimal evidencethat PRP positively affected ED.
- Another 2019 review concluded that the studies done on PRP for male sexual function are too small and not well-designed.
More research is needed on PRP use for men’s sexual health.
Start with your doctor
Your primary care physician, a urologist (for people with penises) or gynecologist (for people with vaginas) may have some experience about this procedure or know of a specialist who performs the P-Shot.
If you don’t have a urologist, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician.
Questions to ask
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 states 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
There’s little evidence for any of these claims.
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 from work or other responsibilities to allow enough time to complete it, but this isn’t necessary.
When you arrive at the facility, you’ll likely be asked to lie on a table and wait for the doctor. 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 into a testing tube, usually from your arm or somewhere noninvasive.
- Put the testing tube in a centrifugefor 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 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 four to five 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 works 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.
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 4 to 6 days, including:
Some rare complications may include:
- outbreaks of cold sores if you have a history of herpes simplex virus
Your results can vary widely based on your overall health and other factors that may be contributing to your sexual function. Some people experience results right away after one treatment. Others may not experience results for several months or until they’ve received multiple treatments.
Gaines categorizes responses to treatment into three general buckets:
- Early responders see effects within the first 24 hours.
- Typical responders see effects in three to six treatments; after the second treatment, they notice a change in responses. In 1 month or 2 months, they reach the peak of their results.
- Late responders see good results in 3 to 4 months.
“[With] very severe ED, which means several years it’s been an issue, there’s a lot of variables,” Gaines added.
How much does the P-shot cost?
This procedure is elective and offered only 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 $2,195 but doesn’t say what’s included in the cost.
According to the 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, the average doctor’s fee for a single PRP procedure was $981. That average doesn’t include other expenses of the procedure, such as what’s needed for prep, instruments, and care at the facility.
Does the P-shot really increase size?
In a 2017 study of 1,220 people, PRP was combined with the daily use of a vacuum pump to enlarge the penis. Though participants experienced increased penis length and girth, this can be achieved by a penis pump alone, and the effect is temporary.
The use of the pump can physically draw blood into the penis for a period. But using one of these too often or for too long can damage tissue in the penis and lead to erections that are not as firm.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
No preparation for this procedure is needed.
You may want to get a physical or a complete set of 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.
What should you expect during recovery?
Recovery is quick. You should be able to resume usual 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 of days, too, so that sweating or chafing doesn’t irritate the area.
The P-Shot needs more research. If you’re interested in trying it, talk with a healthcare professional. Consider speaking with a 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 your mental and emotional health can influence.
If you’re not experiencing results from the P-Shot, you may want to investigate any health issues 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.