Can the O-Shot Empower Women Sexually?
- The O-Shot aims to boost sexual pleasure in female patients by injecting platelet-rich plasma into the ceiling of the vagina and the clitoris.
- The procedure is also used to treat urinary incontinence, and costs between $1,200-$1,500.
- Its inventor, Dr. Charles Runels, warns that the O-Shot won’t resolve the deeper issues behind certain forms of sexual dysfunction.
This somewhat controversial, non-surgical treatment is touted as the ultimate female orgasm enhancer. In essence, the procedure entails injecting the patient’s blood directly into the clitoris to enhance sexual pleasure. Is the placebo effect at play here? Read on to find out if the O-Shot is really worth the price tag.
The Genesis of the Anorgasmia Fix
The O-Shot was invented by self-proclaimed “Sex Energy Doctor” Dr. Charles Runels, to whom we also owe the Vampire Facelift, the Vampire Breast Lift, and the Priapus-Shot. His credentials include a B.S. in Chemistry, experience as an Emergency Room Physician, and years spent working as a research chemist with the Southern Research Institute. He is also a board-certified specialist in internal medicine.
A little about the procedure itself: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which contains high levels of naturally occurring substances believed to stimulate cellular growth, is a popular treatment for an increasingly wide range of sports-related injuries. The procedure begins by using samples of the patient’s blood to harvest the platelets, which are separated from other blood cells by centrifugation before being injected directly into the injured area.
It should be noted that while the method for preparing PRP is FDA-approved, it is primairily intended for use with bone graft materials in orthopedic practices. Any other use is still considered “off-label.”
Dr. Runels explains how he first came across these so-called growth factors: “A sales rep was showing me how PRP could be injected into the face, much like Juvederm fillers are used to restore volume and blood flow. My first thought was that I’d rather have that volume and blood flow in my penis!”
The Alabama-based doctor spent a year injecting himself with PRP before deciding to try the procedure on his female partner in 2011. The results were promising: “The next afternoon, she came to see me, and her orgasms came more quickly — very strong, ejaculatory orgasms. The passion, the thunder, the sounds that she was making…”
Nine years later and “Doctor Orgasm” has put protocols in place and trained over 40 instructors globally. Providers of the procedure are now licensed by the Cellular Medicine Association (CMA), a group he also founded. The forward thinker now makes regular appearances on various women’s wellness and sexuality panels in an effort to promote the O-Shot and ensure that his techniques are properly applied.
Making Quality of Life a Priority
According to Dr. Dana Shanis, board certified gynecologist at the Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center in Philadelphia, the O-Shot is all about empowering women.
“Many women suffer for a long time with sexual concerns or incontinence, and are either afraid to discuss it with their physician or have been told there is not much that can be done,” she explains. Dr. Shanis believes that opening up the lines of communication on this sensitive topic and offering a safe, non-surgical option to patients “allows women to make their quality of life a priority.”
Dr. Shanis says that most patients hear about the O-Shot for the first time when they visit her office for their annual gynecologic exams. Because of the current buzz around the O-Shot, however, there are also several patients who come to her after researching it online.
When women address their sexual concerns, it can “increase their enjoyment of sex and greatly impact their confidence,” Dr. Shanis says. After the procedure her patients report increased sensitivity both in the clitoris and vaginal wall – typically without a significant change in the size or appearance of the external anatomy itself.
This is beneficial for her patients’ partners, too: “Several have told me how relieved they are that sex has finally become a shared pleasure,” Dr. Shanis says.
The Ins and Outs of the O-Shot
The O-Shot is a 20-minute procedure with results that last up to a year and a half, according to its inventor. It often only requires one treatment.
First, the patient’s blood is drawn from their arm. The PRP is then isolated from the blood in a centrifuge and prepared for injection. A numbing cream and a lidocaine shot are administered into the labia minora, which subsequently reach the clitoris via blood flow. Within minutes, the vaginal tissue becomes numb and is ready to be injected.
The logic behind PRP is that it triggers stem cells to increase the blood flow to the area and stimulate healthy tissue growth. Since injections are minimally invasive, the recovery time is short. Some patients report instant results while others see changes within two weeks. The regenerated vaginal tissue causes heightened sensitivity, and some women actually experience vaginal orgasms for the very first time because of it.
If the body hasn’t responded to two treatments given six weeks apart, Dr. Runels recommends stopping and advises against undergoing a third session.
The average cost of the O-Shot runs between $1,200-$1,500.
Not a Magic Bullet
A pilot study conducted on women between the ages of 24 and 64 years of age who suffer from sexual dysfunction (pain during sex, decreased libido or inability to climax) found that of the 11 patients treated, seven (64%) experienced a degree of improvement.
Despite these encouraging numbers, it’s important to keep your expectations within reason. If a relationship is truly broken, an injection won’t ignite a patient’s desire for their partner.
The inventor, Dr. Runels, sets the record straight in terms of success rates: “There are several things we use it for — the effectiveness depends on the procedure. Stress incontinence is mostly a structural thing with the genitalia itself as opposed to, say, difficulty reaching orgasm, which can be due to anything from hormones, relationship problems, or being abused as a child.”
Runels explains that there is a whole system in play when it comes to sexual arousal, and that the O-Shot won’t resolve the deeper issues behind certain forms of sexual dysfunction.
Stress incontinence, however, has less to do with psychology than arousal or climaxing. According to Runels, around one in 20 women in their twenties suffer from various levels of urinary incontinence, making this condition a much more common occurrence.
If estrogen levels are low, it may be hard to maintain the integrity of the mucosa. “If we’re talking stress incontinence in a 25-year-old woman for example, we are over 90% effective with one shot,” says Runels. “If we take a 70-year-old woman, the success rate might be 65%, and then bump it up to 85% with the second shot.”
Dr. Runels has also found that in cases of dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), which is sometimes the result of low estrogen levels, “the shot actually helps the mucosa of the vagina become more moist.”
He further notes that “you could make a strong case that eventually every woman would do [the O-Shot] as a way to maintain the structure and integrity of the urethra, and to help prevent incontinence in the future.” He goes on to explain that the number one reason that people get placed in a nursing home is due to urinary incontinence.
Ultimately, Dr. Runels believes that the O-Shot will help most women who are capable of arousal and orgasm and who are in satisfying sexual relationships to improve on their experience.
His response to the naysayers? “I help women with dysfunctions – I’m not out to promote a cool sex drug.”
Ask a Cosmetic Doctor on Zwivel
Got a question about a cosmetic treatment? With over 2,000 doctor answers and counting, the Zwivel forum is the best place to get expert professional opinions.
Hundreds of questions have already been answered: