Women Finally Have a Treatment Option for Sexual Dysfunction: The O-Shot®
When you hear about performance issues, lack of libido, sexual dysfunction, and frustration in the bedroom, it’s very likely you assume we are talking about these problems with men. No doubt you have seen your fair share of TV commercials, billboards, and advertisements in magazines that chronicle the all too frequent issues that men face with regard to a healthy sex life. It’s no wonder since the science and marketing of treatments for male sexual dysfunction is a multi-billion dollar industry. What you may not know, is that many women are also plagued by performance issues, lack of libido, sexual dysfunction, and frustration in the bedroom.
The reason you may not know about these problems is they are not often talked about openly, or they are improperly characterized by some as personality or character flaws. For example, a man who is not able to achieve or maintain an erection is often seen as suffering from a medical problem and has many avenues to treat these issues, while generally not being shamed when looking into the treatments. However, historically, when a woman is unable to achieve orgasm - or has a lack of sexual desire - she may be labeled as ‘frigid,’ it is assumed that she doesn’t have a skilled lover, or worse. And it doesn’t help that there is only one FDA approved medication for treating a woman’s sexual dysfunction - which, unfortunately, isn’t very effective. Because of the lack of treatment options and understanding of the underlying issues, the majority of women who have some form of sexual dysfunction tend to suffer silently or are turned off by sex altogether.
Estimating conservatively that 30-50% of women (depending on their age) are affected by some sort of sexual problem, you’d think there would be treatment options in lockstep with the over 20 FDA approved drugs and supplements that are available for men. Is the reason for this disparity because male sexual issues are confirmed visually - lack of erection, inability to orgasm/ejaculate - and much of the anatomical map and function of a woman is still regarded as mysterious - or less important? It may be that this is the reason that so many women never bring up sexual dysfunction with their physicians. And while men get their choice of treatment options, women are often only offered counseling. If they are lucky - they will get put onto Bio-identical Hormone Therapy, which may help with the desire, but if there are functional or physical issues - having increased desire is only going to increase the frustration felt.
Additionally, some of these issues that are labeled as sexual problems have other indications which affect a woman in other ways - like incontinence or the continual urge to urinate, and even the inability to produce enough lubrication in the vagina - leading to painful sex. In fact, there are five sexual/pleasure problems women can suffer from that are unique to women. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder which affects 5% of women, is where a woman may want to have sex but is unable to find pleasure or arousal. There are 10% of women who have Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder which is low desire and is often combined with Female Sexual Arousal Disorder. As many as 1 in 10 women (10%) have trouble or the inability to achieve orgasm, and this Female Orgasmic Disorder can be frustrating enough that many women who suffer from it choose to avoid sex. Women who have Dyspareunia experience physical pain during intercourse. Women with Dyspareunia can experience pain from the initial penetration, pain with any penetration (including tampons), deep thrusts during intercourse, burning or aching pains, or even a throbbing pain that can last hours after intercourse. Women can also experience sexual issues related to Genital Mismatch. We’ve all hear that ‘size doesn’t matter’ when we talk about male genitalia, but it turns out that’s only half true. While it’s true that the muscles that surround the vaginal canal can expand or contract, the physical size of the vaginal canal and the size of the penis being inserted can lead to many associated conditions, like Dyspareunia, Female Orgasmic Disorder, or general dissatisfaction or lack of interest.
With those five conditions, only one is related directly with an outside variable - and can be caused by a mismatch of ‘ideal’ sizes. So we won’t focus on that aspect. However, the other conditions, as well as the associated indications of incontinence, lack of confidence, depression, and lack of energy, may be successfully treated and improved by using a relatively new technique called the O-Shot®.
What is the O-Shot®?
The O-Shot® is a safe and effective in-office treatment that uses PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy which uses plasma extracted from the patient’s own blood - so there aren’t issues of rejection, negative side effects, or complications by introducing foreign materials into the body. This plasma is then activated with calcium chloride and injected into targeted areas of the vagina where they release at least 7 different growth factors and convert the platelets into unipotent stem cells which grow younger tissue in the areas where they are injected. This treatment has been shown to stimulate vaginal and clitoral rejuvenation allowing for increases in sexual response, greater arousal, younger and smoother skin of the vulva, a tighter introits (vaginal opening), stronger orgasm, more frequent orgasm, increased desire, decreased pain for those suffering from Dyspareunia, increased natural lubrication, and helps reduce urinary incontinence.
Will it work for me?
The first step is to consult with an approved O-Shot® provider. Your provider will be able to go over your history, concerns, and questions you have and help to determine if you can benefit from the O-Shot® procedure. In clinical studies, women had an overall 94% satisfaction with the procedure, and those suffering from urinary incontinence had 74% reporting improvement.
What can I expect during the procedure?
On the day of your procedure, you will be given a numbing cream to apply to the vagina. We will do a small blood draw (similar to when blood tests are ordered) which we then put into a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma - which is where the PRP comes into play. The PRP is isolated in a separate tube and activated with calcium chloride - releasing the growth factors responsible for creating new, younger tissues. Using a very thin needle, the PRP material is injected into the clitoris and the upper vagina - which are the most important areas for increased sexual response. Since you will be numbed with the anesthetic cream, you will experience little or no pain during the 10-minute procedure.
After receiving the treatment, you may notice a little swelling in the areas where the PRP was injected. This swelling will resolve within a few hours as the PRP is absorbed into your vagina. You may resume normal activities without any hindrance or discomfort.
How many treatments do I need?
The effectiveness and duration of improvement gained from the O-Shot® vary, with some women experiencing results lasting up to 3 years, and others fall within an average timeframe of 18 months.
Are there side effects?
There have not been any reported negative side effects.