Who’s a candidate for PRP therapy for female sexual dysfunction?
Women wishing to improve their sex life
Women dealing with relationship issues as a result of sexual dysfunction (some women experience less pleasure and/or less intense or infrequent orgasms during sexual intercourse)
Women who have a low libido due to a lack of vaginal sensitivity to stimulation
Women with dyspareunia (pain during sexual penetration)
Women with little clitoral sensitivity
Women who experience a lack of lubrication or vaginal dryness
Women with vulvar lichen sclerosus
How does platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy work?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative and promising treatment that represents a major advance in regenerative medicine.
While there’s still limited published research on PRP therapy, it’s currently used in various areas of medicine:
In the field of sports medicine, it’s used to treat a variety of injuries.
In the field of aesthetic medicine, it’s used to erase stretch marks. Specifically, platelet-rich-plasma stimulates the production of collagen by fibroblasts.
In the treatment of alopecia, platelet-rich plasma helps to anchor grafts and stimulate hair follicles when injected in the scalp.
PRP therapy is also used for skin rejuvenation treatment in the face, breasts and other areas of the body.
The therapy follows a standard procedure. It consists of taking a blood sample from the patient and centrifuging the vial in a Health Canada-approved device that isolates the platelet-rich plasma from the blood. The blood is separated into two sections, with the red cells at the bottom of the vial and plasma at the top. The nurse then isolates the plasma layer, which is replete with platelets that released growth factors during centrifugation. When injected into the patient, the platelets, growth factors and other chemicals found in high concentration in the platelet-rich plasma allow the body to heal, repair or reject various tissues. Platelet-rich plasma has a powerful ability to regenerate tissue. The colour of the plasma may vary from dark to light yellow depending on the lipid content.
How is platelet-rich plasma used to treat sexual dysfunction in women?
One of the growth factors (among the 20-plus currently known to researchers) found in platelet-rich plasma is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
The injection of platelet-rich plasma into the clitoral corpus cavernosum, the periureteral region and the anterior vaginal wall appears to stimulate regeneration of blood vessels, nerves and tissues. Vaginal tissues become more supple, sensitive and elastic and lubricate more easily when stimulated. This, in turn, enhances sensation during sexual intercourse and facilitates more intense orgasms. Other reported benefits include diminishment of pain during sexual intercourse as well as improved bladder function. In some patients, the treatment has resulted in the mitigation or cure of stress urinary incontinence.
What are the possible risks and complications following PRP therapy?
PRP therapy doesn’t present a risk for adverse drug interactions nor ill effects on cardiovascular health. There are no contraindications to this treatment. It can even be used on individuals taking blood thinners; there will simply be an increased risk of bruising in such individuals.
Temporary skin reactions at the injection site are possible. Signs of infection include redness, slight discomfort, edema, swelling and bruising.
How long does PRP therapy remain effective at increasing sexual pleasure and improving orgasms?
Women who undergo PRP therapy for sexual dysfunction have reported improvements within the initial days and weeks following the treatment. The results are relatively long-term, lasting between 12 and 18 months. Many patients report significant improvements.
Additional PRP injections can be administered as needed.
What’s the procedure for receiving PRP therapy to treat female sexual dysfunction?
If a local anesthetic is administered, the procedure causes little to no discomfort.
While the procedure itself lasts approximately five minutes, about 30 minutes are needed for the appointment. The additional time is required for administrative procedures, application of an anesthetic cream, collection of a blood sample from the arm, centrifugation of the blood, transfer of the platelet-rich plasma to syringes, activation of platelet-rich plasma, and application of ice to the clitoris as an anesthetic. The injection of platelet-rich plasma under the clitoral hood and in the periureteral region accounts for the final five minutes.
Are there are other treatments available for treating a loss of vaginal sensitivity and inability to orgasm?
Laser vaginal tightening is another treatment option. Women generally undergo laser vaginal tightening as a way to treat vaginal relaxation resulting from childbirth and age-related collagen loss. In certain women, vaginal relaxation results in diminished sensitivity in the vaginal tissues, decreased sexual pleasure during intercourse and difficulty achieving orgasm.