Before you take a needle to your hoo-ha, take a seat and learn about the risks with us. It’s best to know the pros and cons before any shot in the dark (but make sure the lights are on, obvs).
Are stronger orgasms just a shot away? It’s possible.
Though when it comes to the injection called the O-Shot, there is no FDA approval, nor is there scientific proof that it really works. What we do have are some small studies (more extensive studies, please!) and some anecdotal notes from some brave souls who have tried it.
Stick with us for a minute and learn about the controversial shot that claims to give vagina owners better orgasms.
The O-Shot is advertised by providers as an orgasm therapy treatment.
The O-shot has a fun name, but hearing the deets may sound less fun. This injection works by administering the shot into vag tissue areas — think the labia, clitoris, and g-spot (ok, ouch!) with something called platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which comes from your own blood.
As the legend goes, this injection was the brainchild of a medical doctor (not a gynecologist) named Charles Runels, MD, around 2011. He’s also the person behind the P-Shot (advertised to help with erectile dysfunction) and the vampire facial.
Though it’s tough to prove its effectiveness or safety, the O-Shot has been buzzed about by certain publications, and some who have tried it say it made a big difference for them. Still, much, and we mean MUCH more research is needed on this injection.
According to Nisarg Patel, MBBS, MS, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in Ahmedabad, India, the idea behind this procedure is that PRP stimulates growth factors that help heal damaged or weakened cells, potentially resulting in improved sexual pleasure and sensitivity.
PRP treatments aren’t exactly new. This treatment is commonly administered to treat athletic injuries (broken bones), help people recover from surgery, and sometimes for less intense things like hair growth.
How does it work? Blood is strategically drawn from an individual so that the PRP is separated from the person’s blood and then injected into the body part that needs treatment (in this case, the vaginal area).
Interestingly, researchers still don’t totally get how PRP treatments work for its common uses, but they can guess that it’s thanks to the platelets’ possible healing properties.
One 2018 study suggests it can deliver up to 35 different regenerative growth factors when injected into wounded body parts. Important: This hasn’t been adequately researched with vaginal tissue specifically (more on that soon).
The O-Shot is advertised to improve sexual function for vagina owners. Providers say it heightens orgasm and also helps improve things like:
- sexual desire
It’s also common for providers to say this injection helps with:
- urinary incontinence
- lichen sclerosus
- lichen planus
- pain from childbirth and mesh, along with interstitial cystitis
“The science behind why or why not the O-Shot may be effective for some is still being studied,” Patel says. Or at least, we hope it’s being studied, amiright?
“Some researchers believe that PRP helps stimulate collagen production, which improves overall elasticity and sensitivity of tissue around the clitoral area and other areas related to sexual pleasure.”
Patel adds that it’s also suggested that since PRP contains growth factors and proteins that are used for healing damaged cells, this may also contribute to improved sexual stimulation or satisfaction.
When it comes to studies on the O-Shot and its potential to help with orgasms, it’s slim pickings.
Runel’s small 2014 pilot study on his shot says that 7 of the 11 women in the study communicated that they noticed an improvement in their sex lives post-treatment.
A small 2023 pilot study examined five women experiencing sexual dysfunction after female genital mutilation (FGM).
The participants underwent “surgical exposure of the clitoris” and were then given “O-Shot procedure injection techniques.”
The study says the five participants reported “easier access and stimulation of their clitoris as well as improved sexual arousal, lubrication, and pleasure and claimed to be satisfied with their restored body image.”
In addition to the study’s very small size, this study doesn’t show O-Shot results on participants who did not also undergo surgery.
Marketing of the O-Shot
So, without FDA approval or hefty research on its side, is the O-Shot’s claim to boost sexual experience fair?
According to Patel, the marketing of the O-Shot is both fair and misleading.
“On one hand, it does provide information about a potential new treatment option for women with certain sexual issues,” he says. “On the other hand, because the effectiveness isn’t fully established yet through research or clinical trials, some critics argue that the marketing of the O-shot is misleading and is a form of medical tourism.”
Runals points out on his website that thousands of studies on PRP exist. But, he doesn’t clearly mention that its effectiveness or safety hasn’t been extensively studied when injected into vaginal tissue.
This is a big point of criticism for many professionals, including author Jennifer Gunter, M.D., an OB-GYN who wrote The Vagina Bible. She writes, in part, on her website, “There are no studies in indexed, peer-reviewed literature looking at injecting platelet-rich plasma into the vagina or clitoris to improve sexual satisfaction.”
At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your vagina to decide what’s fair.
You’ve decided to go for it. Now what? Find a credible and experienced provider and be ready to answer medical questions and sign some papers.
In theory, the injection shouldn’t cause horrible pain since you will be numb, but *knowing* what’s going on down there may freak you out.
Freaked out or not, your provider should check some boxes, these include:
- Having you remove your clothing from the waist down
- Applying a numbing agent to the injection area
- Draw blood and isolate the platelets
- Administer local anesthetic directly to your clitoris, labia, and possibly g-spot
- Inject the platelets into the same areas
Reminder: We don’t have adequate studies on PRP injections into vaginal tissue.
Looking into side effects here means looking at PRP side effects when given to other body parts.
This mainly includes an allergic reaction, pain, redness, bruising, swelling at the injection site, or possible infection.
When you find information on an O-Shot provider’s website, you may see more specific mentions of other possible side effects as it relates to the vaginal tissue, including:
- urgent or more frequent urination
- pinching, pressure, or pain during injection (topical numbing agents may help this)
- a feeling of vaginal “fullness”
Plus, risks are always possible with any procedure, especially a newer one with limited research.
For example, in 2021, a San Diago woman (an esthetician who volunteered as a practice patient for her boss) was injected with an expired local anesthetic, which did not numb her at all.
OFC, this led to “excruciating pain” and a messy, ongoing legal battle. Her botched O-Shot experience also led to a loss of sexual enjoyment.
This is why finding an experienced provider is crucial.
On some provider websites, it says some patients notice results three weeks following treatment. It’s also said that the injection lasts around 12-18 months on average, meaning it’s not a permanent procedure.
The price varies quite a bit depending on the provider you find. You can expect to pay around $1,200 on the lower end or up to $2,000 per shot. Also, don’t bother whipping out your health insurance ID; insurance plans don’t cover this service.
Before skipping off to a provider, a better place to start is with your board-certified OB/GYN or urologist. The two of you can discuss your sexual function and decide if trying the O-shot makes sense for you. A less biased situation is chatting first with a doctor who isn’t affiliated with the O-Shot.
You can ask your doctor to help you find a provider with credible experience with this injection, but keep in mind that providers don’t exactly get recognized or specialized training for this shot.
The O-Shot website has a directory of providers that the website says are “certified” to perform it, but the term certification here is sort of broad. Does it mean they’ve completed a certain number of training hours with the inventor? If so, what organization recognizes this training? These are just some things to think about…
We sound like a broken record at this point, but chatting with your doctor (OB/GYN or a urologist) is a great idea.
Patel tells us for vagina owners who have difficulty achieving orgasm, there are several treatment options available.
Patel says some of these include:
- psychological therapy
- medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs
- vaginal dilator therapy
- pelvic floor physical therapy
- lifestyle changes, including stress reduction techniques
“Also, some alternative treatments (can be) recommended depending on the individual’s condition,” Patel adds. This means a chat with your doctor may lead to other viable alternatives for your sitch specifically.
Stronger orgasms may be on everyone’s wish list, especially for those with sexual dysfunction. However, is a newer injection that claims to improve sexual function but has (very) little evidence and no FDA-approval worth the risks?
Well, that’s up to the vagina owner. Finding an experienced provider you trust is essential, but remember that information about training here is vague, and the cost is high (no insurance coverage!).
Sexual dysfunction is a frustrating thing to deal with. Talking with your OB/GYN or a urologist as a starting point is an excellent idea.