Shot To Heaven
Posted On Sep 26, 2016
Has your sex life has gone from “Oh!” to “Ouch!”? The O-Shot might be the cure that turns your bedroom blues into red-hot romps—but what’s it all about? New You gets the stimulating details.
Much ado has been made about the inconvenience of impotence. In fact, modern medicine has come such a long way in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction, it’s impossible to turn on the TV without seeing an ad for a sly-grinning silver fox with his obviously giddy partner. But, hey doc, how about some love for the ladies? When it comes to female sexual dysfunction, our choices have been extremely limited. From unhelpful advice (“Just relax!” “Fantasize about your favorite movie star!”), to steroid creams for sufferers of lichen sclerosus, to hormone replacement therapy for the post-menopausal. That’s left a lot of once sexually active and happy women to suffer in discontented silence. That is, until recently. Enter the O-Shot.
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The Orgasm Shot—or O-Shot—made quite an auspicious debut last year when a certificate for the procedure was included in the Oscar swag bag. But what is this booster for the boudoir-challenged—and does it really work?
The O-Shot was created by Charles Runels, M.D., the Alabama-based physician whose “vampire facial” skyrocketed to fame when Kim Kardashian decided to try it out on national television for Kim and Kourtney Take Miami. But wacky (and, possibly unfortunately named) as that procedure may have seemed, its base—taking a patient’s own blood and separating out the platelets—inspired the O-Shot’s sweet relief.
“The O-Shot is a complete game changer, improving sexual response and experience. It complem ents everything else I do for my patients,” comments Lisbeth Roy, D.O., an expert, educator, and researcher of the O-Shot procedure, which she uses for her patients suffering with sexual dysfunction at the Doctors Studio, which she founded in Boca Raton, Florida.
Simply put, the O-Shot uses a quick and easy strategic injection of platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, into the vaginal and clitoral area in order to help restore sexual function in women. There are many reasons a woman might experience sexual disfunction: dryness caused post-pregnancy and during breast feeding, serious illness, medications, hormonal fluctuations, and the thinning of the vaginal lining due to age.
The O-Shot is basically a form of regenerative injection therapy, also used for sports injuries where tissue has been damaged. It uses PRP obtained from a patient’s whole blood, which is treated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the components. The platelets found in PRP contain bioactive proteins and growth factors. When activated, they initiate connective-tissue healing, promote the development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound-healing process. The platelets initiate repair and attract the assistance of stem cells.
Using regenerative injection therapy allows for vital growth factors to be released into the “injured” site. The injected platelets release the growth factors and facilitate the process of regenerating the tissue.
So how, exactly, does that work for your own sexual parts? The PRP is injected into the clitoris and upper vagina. Once injected, the platelets release growth factors that activate the cells, making them resemble younger cells.
For women who have decreased sensitivity, the O-Shot can improve sensitivity in the vaginal and clitoral regions, improving sexual experience and intensity of orgasm in as quick as one week post-procedure. According to Dr. Roy, many of her patients report increased libido, increased lubrication, and increased receptiveness of the tissue. For those in menopause, Dr. Roy recommends combining bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or a topical hormone cream to better improve results.
“Virtually anyone can benefit from the O-Shot,” comments Dr. Roy. “Women who experience pain during sexual intercourse or those experiencing sexual dysfunction, whether it is related to menopause or post-partum can benefit from the procedure.” Dr. Roy also uses the O-Shot as a preventative treatment for patients experiencing lost libido.
An added bonus of the O-Shot is that many patients have experienced resolution of their urinary incontinence. “Urinary incontinence is a great concern for many women. Forty-three percent of women suffer from urinary incontinence and it is the number-one reason for female nursing-home admission. It is actually a bigger deal than sexual dysfunction in women,” she says. “We are seeing remarkable results in women suffering from both stress-type and urge-type urinary incontinence.”
This is huge for these patients because of the quality of life issues associated with this condition. Also, until now, most treatments have been surgical in nature with little resolution and no guarantee of success. Additionally, research by Irwin Goldstein, M.D., of San Diego, California, has shown promise in the treatment of lichen sclerosus, an inflammatory condition of the skin and vulva, using platelet-rich plasma.
The procedure itself is actually very simple and requires no down time. A small amount of blood will be drawn in order to obtain the platelets. While the platelets are being processed, topical anesthetic and a numbing injection is administered in the treatment area. The provider will then take the processed PRP and perform some injections in the vaginal and clitoral areas. The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes and costs approximately $1,200 to $1,500.
Patients can resume normal activities (yes, including sexual) the same day of treatment. Dr. Roy recommends that her patients use an Apex pelvic exerciser 10 minutes daily for two weeks to help stimulate and build strength in the pelvic floor muscles, which helps to enhance treatment results. It is also recommended that repeat treatments occur at one year.
There is no downtime associated with the O-Shot. Since the treatment involves the use of your own platelets, there is no risk of allergic reaction and, so far, no adverse side effects have been reported with the treatment.
What you can do to make sure you get back in the saddle as quickly and safely as possible is to find the right physician. As always, do your due diligence before making a decision to undergo any medical treatment.
“Not all PRP is created equal and the right PRP makes a difference in treatment results,” warns Dr. Roy. She recommends that patients make sure the doctor performing the treatment uses a PRP system that yields a platelet baseline concentration of four to six times normal blood.
Make sure that your doctor has experience with women’s health and women’s sexual dysfunction. Find out if he or she has received training in performing the procedure and find out how long the doctor has been providing that treatment. You should also check your potential doctor’s standing with the medical board in the state in which he or she practices.