Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been growing in popularity as an experimental alternative treatment option for a variety of diseases and disorders. Male sexual health is one of the target areas when it comes to the research of platelet-rich plasma injections as part of the larger effort of studying regenerative medicine.
So how does PRP therapy for erectile dysfunction work? It’s an autologous procedure in which the blood is obtained from the patient itself and processed to extract plasma, which is then injected into the penis. Also called the P-shot, it’s believed to increase blood flow and fix ED during sexual activity.
What’s Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a blood component that is supposed to aid in tissue regeneration and healing. PRP is a type of platelet-rich plasma that is made from a patient’s own blood. Clinicians make PRP with a platelet separator, which has a higher platelet concentration than whole blood. PRP injections have been utilized to treat arthritic and tendonitis diseases.
PRP: Alternative Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
Based on theoretical and anecdotal evidence, platelet-rich plasma can prove to be an effective, and viable treatment solution for erectile dysfunction. Researchers are dedicated in their pursuit to studying the efficacy of PRP in the treatment of ED.
Human blood is a matrix that has several components such as red blood cells, plasma, white blood cells, and platelets. The principle behind the development of PRP is that the platelets present in blood can aid in healing and clotting. The growth factors present in a platelet-rich plasma solution can potentially heal, rejuvenate and regenerate the tissues when injected into them.
Theoretically, PRP for ED improves the health of the tissue and blood vessels of the penis. A medical specialist takes a little sample of your blood and spins it in a centrifuge machine to make PRP.
The plasma and platelets are separated from the rest of your blood in the centrifuge. The platelet concentration in the PRP combination is substantially higher than in ordinary blood. PRP is created and then injected into your penis.
This is called the Priapus Shot, or P-Shot, which is a pretty simple operation, and you’ll probably be out of the clinic in less than an hour. You also don’t need to do anything to prepare for the surgery ahead of time.
Research on PRP for Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Many clinics that offer PRP for ED say that treatment is effective, however scientific data to back up their claims is minimal. The use of PRP for ED is currently experimental, and its efficacy is still being studied. A review published in 2020 looked at all of the evidence on PRP therapy for male sexual dysfunction that had been published up to that point. Three animal researches and two human studies for ED were examined in the review.
PRP therapy didn’t cause any serious side effects in the studies. PRP has the potential to be a beneficial therapeutic option for ED, according to the researchers. But it’s crucial to remember that the studies used tiny sample sizes and lacked suitable comparator groups, which implies that more research is needed to fully comprehend the advantages of PRP therapy. The evidence at this time is largely speculative, anecdotal, and conjectural.
Clinical Study of Platelet Rich Plasma Erectile Dysfunction Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections ameliorate important parts of the pathophysiologic pathways that lead to erectile dysfunction. There have been clinical studies conducted to get a better insight into the efficacy of PRP in the treatment of ED.
In a recent study, 60 sexually active subjects suffering from mild to moderate Erectile Dysfunction were given sessions of intracavernosal injections. The patients were assessed after completing the therapy procedure at 1, 3, and 6 months each. A protocol-by-protocol examination was performed and the use of traditional ED treatment options was withheld for the clinical trial period.
The result of the study showed that about 69% showed considerable improvement in their ED condition after a period of 6 months. The clinical trial study concluded that while PRP intracavernosal injections could be a viable addition to a urologist’s arsenal of ED treatments, there was a dire need for further high-quality research to back up the findings of the study.
PRP vs Other Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
With the lack of clear and concrete proof that PRP helps cure ED, proven traditional methods of treatment may be a more safer option depending on the patient. Some of the well-known and common treatment options for erectile dysfunction include:
- Lifestyle changes: Increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and sticking to a healthy diet are all things that can help with ED. This is because there’s a direct correlation between physical well-being and the prognosis of ED.
- Consulting a therapist: Mental factors also contribute to sexual health. As such, if ED is caused by psychological factors such as worry, stress, or relationship issues, talk therapies may be beneficial.
- Targeting underlying conditions: An underlying ailment, such as high blood pressure, obesity, or heart disease, is frequently the cause of ED. The treatment of these problems has the ability to increase the quality of erections.
- Medications: The blood veins in the penis relax and increase blood flow when you use erectile dysfunction drugs.
Side Effects of PRP Treatment
While there are no known severely adverse or detrimental side effects of using platelet-rich plasma to treat erectile dysfunction, there’s a lack of substantial evidence to claim that it’s a safe treatment option to begin with. Despite a few clinical trials, the sample data size is too small to be conclusive.
While allergic reactions to PRP Injections are implausible, there are certain side effects and complications that could be associated with them. They include:
- Nerve damage
- Tissue damage
- Severe pain in and around the site of injection
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PRP therapy is still considered experimental. It’s unclear whether PRP can aid in ED treatment at this time. The operation is relatively costly, and most insurance companies don’t cover it. While early research appears to be promising, opting for tested traditional ED treatments may be recommended until conclusive studies are published. Consulting with your diagnostician, doctor or physician is highly recommended before making a decision.
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