P-Shots for Erectile Health. Legit?

Doctor with gloves filling injection

You may have heard of the term biohacking. It’s a colloquialism now used for a practice that is centuries, if not millennia, old – fine-tuning the body to extract the highest and best performance. A favorite therapy of Biohackers is known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, posited as a rejuvenation therapy, and is used in several applications. Orthopedic surgeons use it to help rejuvenate joints. Hair loss specialists claim it may assist with regrowth, especially in those with androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. Plastic surgeons use it for facial skin rejuvenation – the list goes on.

What Is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma is derived from one’s blood. A certain amount of blood is extracted and spun in a centrifuge. Spinning separates the blood into its core components, including plasma and red blood cells. The separated plasma contains platelets, the very same component of blood that allows for coagulation and scabbing after we cut ourselves.

PRP for Erectile Health

Some men’s health clinics and rejuvenation centers have started offering platelet-rich plasma injections into the penis, known as P-shots. These injections are marketed as helping, maintaining, and regenerating healthy erectile tissue. Some claim that it can help with erectile dysfunction, while others add that it can improve the length and girth of the penis.

But are these claims valid? And should you consider P-shots as a therapeutic approach to erectile health?

Let’s take each claim one at a time:

Generating new and healthy tissue: Platelet-rich plasma has a nourishing component to it, and there may be some truth to the idea that it will improve the health of the tissue in the penis. However, these benefits, if any, are likely to be temporary. Plenty of research needs to be done to verify this claim.

Erectile dysfunction: The most common cause of erectile dysfunction is blood flow to the penis because of occluded arteries due to poor lifestyle, habits, age, and diet. Shots may work for patients with mild erectile dysfunction or for whom psychological factors cause erectile dysfunction. The placebo effect is real. However, it is doubtful that PRP will ever supplant proven erectile dysfunction therapies like medication, injections, and penile implants.

Length and girth: Much like the claim of improved tissue health, there may be some change in the length and girth of the penis due to these injections. This may indeed result from an improvement in the tissue. However, it could also be down to any swelling or reaction due to the injection itself and not because of PRP. Once again, any gains would be short-lived, so P-shots must be repeated regularly and at significant expense.

The Bottom Line

It can be enticing to think that a naturally occurring substance in your body creates a significant effect, and some perceived gains may be just that – perception. Unfortunately, no solid clinical data shows that P-shots do what they claim. Getting a P-shot from a reputable medical provider is, at worst, a waste of money, though you should speak to your provider about the possible complications.

As an unproven therapy with primarily anecdotal evidence behind it but seemingly relatively safe, we do not necessarily discourage patients from trying it, as long as they are prepared that it may not work and could be a waste of money. On the other hand, we caution patients to only employ a highly skilled men’s health physician or urologist to perform these injections.