If you could, would you seek medical treatment to improve your ability to orgasm and the quality of your orgasms?

For many women who experience sexual dysfunction — and even those without — the answer is yes. But is there an actual treatment that could do this for you… using your own blood as medicine?

In short, the answer is unclear.

In the past few years, a medical treatment that claims to do just that has increased in popularity.

Marketed as the orgasm shot, or O-Shot, treatment involves injecting the clitoris, labia, and G-spot with platelets — a substance in your blood that contains healing proteins called growth factors — extracted from your own blood.

There’s currently very little research on the O-Shot, and no scientifically proven evidence that it can improve your sex life.

What is the O-Shot?

To learn more about this shot, Healthline interviewed Dr. Carolyn DeLucia of VSPOT Women’s Intimate Health Spa in New York City.

Her clinic offers the O-Shot, among other treatments it claims boosts female sexual health and experience.

According to DeLucia, the O-Shot is a type of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment for your vagina.

“Platelet-rich plasma is the portion of our blood that contains all the growth factors that help us heal ourselves,” says DeLucia. “When we are small children and we scraped our knee, yellow fluid came out, a scab formed, the scab fell off, and then there was nice new pink skin that grew in. That yellow fluid is platelet-rich plasma.”

“We are able to isolate and concentrate and use that portion of blood wherever we need it to aid in healing,” she continues. “PRP is used in the O-Shot to create new blood vessels and new nerves.”

About PRP

PRP treatments have most often been used to treat injuries in athletes.

PRP has been used extensively to treat sports injuries, aid in recovery from surgery, and even to treat medical conditions like hair loss.

It involves drawing blood from a patient, isolating the platelet-rich plasma from the blood, and reinjecting the platelet-rich plasma into a part of the body that needs healing.

While scientists don’t yet fully understand how it works, it appears that the platelets may have some kind of healing and restorative properties when injected into an injured part of the body by releasing up to 35 different healing substances or growth factors.

Many doctors use PRP to treat muscular wounds and broken bones and claim it greatly speeds healing time.

What’s it used for and does it work?

Sexual function

DeLucia and other O-Shot providers mainly advertise “mind-blowing orgasms” as the main benefit of their treatment.

“The O-Shot was created by Dr. Charles Runels in Fairhope, Alabama,” DeLucia wrote to Healthline in an email. “[His] original studies showed that there was a significant improvement in the female sexual function index. This is a questionnaire that is handed out to patients and they are able to answer it before and after the procedure. In addition to [his] clinical trial, there are several anecdotal reports of the procedure being very effective.”

Runels, DeLucia, and other healthcare providers who offer the O-Shot claim it can improve vaginal sensation, sexual function, and a lot more.

Some supposed benefits include:

  • increased sexual desire
  • increased arousal
  • increased lubrication
  • a heightened orgasm during sex or masturbation

Incontinence and other conditions

Some professionals claim it may also:

  • ease urinary incontinence
  • treat lichen sclerosus
  • treat lichen planus
  • treat chronic pain from childbirth and mesh, as well as interstitial cystitis

Some women claim the treatment has improved their orgasm experience greatly and has even helped treat incontinence. But there’s no rigorous scientific evidence that the O-Shot works as promised or consistently.

The only information on O-Shot results is a small 2014 pilot study that appears in a publication that isn’t peer-reviewed. This study was done by Runels on only 11 women, with a reported 71 percent going from “distressed” to “not distressed.”

Runels claims that PRP stimulates stem cells, collagen production, and blood vessels, which could lead to better orgasms and sex in the women he studied.

There are a few studies that investigate whether or not vaginal PRP could help reduce inflammation related to transvaginal mesh, with unclear results.

These studies looked at biopsied tissues and rabbits. There are also just a few low-quality studies, including one that Runels helped execute, about vaginal PRP as a treatment for lichen sclerosus, also with unclear results.

And there’s no solid research on PRP being used to treat sexual dysfunction nor incontinence in women.

So, there’s currently no real understanding of success rates for this kind of treatment, nor has it been approved safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

More research is needed

Currently, PRP has been tested for chronic non-healing wounds, and for sports injuries and the evidence that it has any benefit has been less than impressive.

In his study, Runels claims 7 of the 11 women in the study reported some kind of improvement in their sex lives after treatment. But due to the small and unclear nature of the study, the results are questionable at best.

Criticism

New York Times medical columnist Dr. Jen Gunther has criticized the O-Shot as a treatment that “sounds great on paper. Nature’s healing! Except there is very little proof that it helps anything.”

How do you prepare for the procedure?

If you decide to, you can schedule an O-Shot treatment with any medical professional who offers it.

The medical professional you contact to give you an O-Shot will start out by asking you general questions about your health, so have information about your sexual and general health history on hand.

What to expect during an O-Shot

If you check out as healthy, your O-Shot provider will, in the following order:

  • Ask you to remove your pants and underwear.
  • Apply numbing cream to your clit, labia, and/or G-spot.
  • Draw your blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma (liquid) from the platelets (the tissue that will be injected into your vagina).
  • Inject local anesthetic to your clit, labia, and/or G-spot.
  • Inject your platelets into your clit, labia and/or G-spot.

After this, you’re all done and ready to get dressed and leave the office. In all, the procedure should take about 30 minutes.

“The O-Shot is not painful at all,” says Cindy Barshop, founder of VSPOT. “Botox hurts ten times more. The scary part is just thinking about putting a needle ‘down there.’ When our clients at the VSPOT are asked to measure their discomfort level between 0 and 10 the discomfort is never more than a 2, with 10 being the worst pain.”

Potential side effects and complications

According to Runels, the following side effects affected two women who participated in his study:

  • continuous sexual arousal
  • ejaculatory orgasm
  • sexual arousal with urination
  • spontaneous orgasm

The side effects of PRP haven’t been studied on injections given in the vaginal area. However, other studies on PRP injected elsewhere in the body suggest the following side effects are possible:

  • allergic reaction
  • bruising at the injection site
  • dermatitis
  • infection
  • numbness at the injection site
  • pain and soreness at the injection site
  • redness at the injection site
  • scar tissue
  • swelling at the injection site
  • vaginal sensitivity, including a “buzzing” sensation

DeLucia says “there have been no long-term complications reported worldwide with the use of PRP in the O-Shot.”

What to expect during recovery

According to DeLucia, “recovery from the O-Shot is very quick. You may experience a small amount of local sensitivity for a day or two. That is all. You may even have intercourse the same day as treatment.”

Go over recovery expectations with your provider both before and after the procedure.

When should you see the results?

“I like to describe the results as three different time frames. Within the first 3 to 7 days you will experience heightened sensation in the area treated due to the actual fluid injection,” says DeLucia.

“At approximately 3 weeks new tissue will begin to develop and will continue for the next 9 weeks, which then at 3 months will reach its peak development,” she says. “These results will last out to at least a year.”

Again, there’s no scientific research on when results start and how long the results of the O-Shot last, so the evidence is anecdotal based on experience.

How much does it cost?

The O-Shot isn’t FDA-approved or covered by health insurance, so it must be paid for out of pocket.

How much it costs depends on where you get the procedure. Some popular O-Shot providers have prices ranging from about $1,200 to $2,500.

Who administers the O-shot?

On his website for the O-Shot, Runels writes that he trademarked the names “Orgasm Shot” and “O-Shot” for his vaginal PRP treatment. He asks providers to sign up to administer the O-Shot and to join his medical research group called the “Cellular Medicine Association.”

Similar PRP treatments called “O-Shot” probably provide you with the same treatment, but don’t have Runels’ seal of approval.

DeLucia says, “There are a select few clinical trainers certified by the inventor Dr. Charles Runels like myself, that train other doctors to do this treatment. Wherever you go for this procedure you would want to make sure that the clinician has been trained by a certified doctor like myself.”

How to find a provider

Your best resource maybe your own doctor for a start, particularly a gynecologist or urologist. They can help you with understanding and improving your baseline reproductive and sexual health and may be able to help you find a reputable practitioner.

It’s easy enough to find an O-Shot provider online. Runels has a list of “certified” providers on the O-Shot website.

Again, take these providers with a grain of salt: They don’t necessarily have special qualifications other than claiming to have the ability to perform vaginal PRP as certified by Runels.

What should you do if you’re interested in the O-Shot?

If you decide to try the procedure, make sure to follow your provider’s aftercare instructions.

Additionally, stay in touch with your provider and contact them immediately if you begin to experience adverse effects.

Seek urgent medical attention if you develop:

  • fever
  • severe redness
  • severe swelling
  • pus
  • bleeding

These are signs of infection or adverse reaction.

Steps to take

  • Screen and have consultations with providers. To make sure the O-Shot is right for you, first schedule a consultation with a provider, or even two providers.
  • Ask questions. Discuss the procedure — who and what is involved — expectations, results, risks, benefits, and its costs.
  • Talk separately with a doctor. If you can, talk to a doctor who’s independent of the O-Shot provider, like your own general physician or a reproductive health doctor. There may alternatives to try first.

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