Millions of American men suffer from erectile dysfunction, an inability to get and keep an erection suitable for intercourse.
These men make up a significant — and very lucrative — market for therapies that claim to cure ED or at least temporarily overcome its symptoms.
One of the more recent therapies in the news has been platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, also marketed as the P-Shot or Priapus Shot.
It involves the isolation of a man’s platelets from the other active components of his blood, namely red and white blood cells, and the injection of the resulting PRP into his penis.
PRP advocates claim the growth factors in the platelets stimulate healing and improve blood flow within the penis, thus overcoming the effects of male impotence.
Historically, PRP therapy has also been used extensively by athletes to speed rehabilitation of injured muscle tissue and in the hope that it somehow might improve their performance on the field.
However, when it comes to the effects of PRP therapy on erection problems, few studies have been made, and those that have been done — all small in scale — indicate that this new form of treatment produces modest improvements at best.
In one such study, published in the February 2017 issue of “The Journal of Sexual Medicine,” nine men with a mean age of 56 underwent PRP therapy. Their average pre-therapy score on the International Index of Erectile Function 30-point scale was 15.6, indicative of moderate dysfunction.
After therapy, that averages improved to 19.9, which puts them in the category of mild to moderate ED. Weighed against the high costs of such therapy, it is unlikely that PRP therapy for the treatment of ED will attract many proponents, at least in the near future.
If you would like to stay abreast of the most recent developments in consumer health, particularly news relevant to sexual health and function, follow our blog.