PRP for vaginal rejuvenation
PRP for vaginal rejuvenation
Can urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction be helped with a shot? Yes! Now these conditions can be improved naturally with a powerful healing product made from your own blood. Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a regenerative treatment that when injected into the vaginal tissue has led to decreased leakage of urine and improvement in sexual function.
How PRP Works
The procedure of using PRP has been around for many years to aid in wound healing, repair damaged joints, stimulate hair regrowth and recently revitalize vaginal tissue (sometimes known as the O-shot). Platelets contain healing growth factors that give instructions to your tissue to regenerate and multiply. With PRP treatments, your growth factors and stem cells work together to strengthen vaginal tissue, increase blood flow to the area, rejuvenate nerve tissue and increase lubrication.
How does PRP help urinary incontinence?
There are different types of incontinence and PRP works best for stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is leakage of small amounts of urine that happens during activities which cause pressure on the bladder such as coughing, sneezing or exercising. With aging or after pregnancy tissues in the vaginal area stretch and lose structure allowing the valve in the urethra to open slightly and leak especially with external pressure. PRP strengthens vaginal tissues to provide more support to the urethra and valve which controls the flow of urine out of the bladder.
Other types of incontinence include:
Urge Incontinence: Involuntary leakage of urine at rest with no precipitating activity such as incontinence while sleeping. Overflow Incontinence: Inability to hold urine in a full bladder.
Overactive Bladder: Frequent and urgent desire to urinate.
PRP does not work well with these types of incontinence. If you are unsure which type you have, an evaluation by a urologist or gynecologist will provide more information.
How does PRP work to help female sexual dysfunction?
PRP is placed in the space between the top of the vagina and the bottom of the urethra (see diagram). Platelets stimulate the skene’s glands to produce more lubrication, reducing vaginal dryness and thereby reducing dyspareunia (pain with intercourse).
Platelets also release growth factors to increase blood flow and stimulate nerves in the area leading to increased libido and sensation. Some patients have reported shorter time to orgasm with more intensity after this procedure.
Will PRP be successful for you?
The female orgasm system is very complex with physical, mental and hormonal components. During our visit we will discuss what problems you face and if you are a candidate for PRP. Patients who are good candidates:
- Have a healthy relationship with a significant other.
- Have a positive mental attitude about the procedure and sexual intercourse.
- Do not have physical causes for pain such as adhesions from surgery, uterine fibromas, or scarring from trauma.
- Are not taking antidepressant medications which suppress libido.
- Do not have low testosterone levels (Testosterone labs can be drawn at your visit).
Is PRP time consuming?
No, collecting and processing PRP usually takes 10-15 minutes. First your blood is drawn; then it is processed in our lab. After processing, the PRP is injected which takes as little as 3-5 minutes. (Do plan to be in the office for an hour for paperwork, discussions with the provider and the procedure.)
Does the procedure hurt & are there restrictions?
A strong topical numbing agent is applied to the vaginal tissues. There is usually no pain from the injections but patients do feel some pressure and burning with one injection. These feelings are brief. There can be light spotting following the procedure. There are no restrictions after treatment.
What to expect after treatment
Right after treatment you may feel an urge to urinate due to the pressure of the fluid. Some people feel immediate relief from incontinence which is also related to the extra fluid and is temporary. You might feel immediate heightened sexual stimulation from the pressure of the fluid. This can last up to one week. After 5-7 days, patients return to their original state. It takes at least three weeks before the PRP starts working and it takes eight to twelve weeks to see its full effect. It is a gradual process as the body makes these changes.
Does it work for everyone and how long does it last?
About 65% of patients improve with only one treatment. At eight weeks the patient returns to the clinic to monitor her progress. At that time some patients need a touch-up treatment which is included in the original price. Studies show 85% of patients respond after the second treatment. The effects of PRP treatments for vaginal rejuvenation last around 12-18 months.
How to prepare for your treatment
You should not take Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen (Aleve), NSAIDs, prednisone or fish oil prior to or after treatment for one week. These medications may affect the platelets. Tylenol or acetaminophen is safe. Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine intake on the day of treatment to assist with the blood draw.