table of contents
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Every year millions of people in the United States experience erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s a common concern, and fortunately, there is a multitude of ways to improve it.
Some big ones include making lifestyle changes like cutting out tobacco and drinking less alcohol. Prescription medications like Viagra (generic name sildenafil; see Important Safety Information) or Cialis (generic name tadalafil; see Important Safety Information) are also popular treatments for ED.
The premise of the Priapus Shot is using substances your own body already contains to give you bigger, harder erections. But what does science say?
What is the Priapus Shot?
The Priapus Shot, or P-Shot, was invented by Dr. Charles Runels. It’s named after Priapus, the Greek god of fertility and male genitalia. In paintings, Priapus is usually pictured with an oversized erection.
And while P-Shots won’t turn you into an overly endowed Greek god, they might be able to enhance your sexual wellness and give you larger, firmer erections. The Priapus Shot is based on the idea that specific components of your blood can heal your body’s tissues.
This might sound like science fiction, but it’s actually true. Bone and joint doctors have been using patients’ blood to heal injuries since the ‘80s. Since then, healing with blood components has played a role in plastic surgery, oral surgery, dermatology, and more.
But can the Priapus shot really improve blood flow to the penis? Will it increase penis size and girth? Can it really boost sexual satisfaction?
How does the Priapus Shot work?
If you want to understand how the P-Shot works, it’s best to start by looking at how an erection works.
An erection results from increased blood flow to the penis, causing it to become engorged. For that reason, treatments that increase blood flow to the penis also improve erectile function. Dr. Runels claims that the Priapus Shot not only increases penile blood flow but also helps grow new blood vessels in the penis––all using a person’s own blood.
The P-Shot procedure involves injecting blood directly into the tissue of the penis. The shot uses specific components of your blood. You’ve probably heard of red and white blood cells, but these only make up a portion of what you have in your veins. They float in a liquid called plasma. Plasma is full of powerful substances like proteins that clot blood, antibodies that fight infection, and growth factors for new tissue growth and healing.
The shot is made by separating plasma from the rest of the blood and fortifying it with platelets, which are small pieces of cells that float around in the blood to help it clot. This powerful platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is injected into the shaft of the penis. If that sounds painful, don’t worry––a numbing cream is applied before the shot is administered.
Once the shot is given, according to Dr. Runels, it doesn’t take long for it to work and you could start seeing results even the same day.
Benefits of the Priapus Shot
So what can this PRP-packed Priapus Shot really do? Here are some of the potential benefits and the scientific evidence to back them up.
ED is often caused by limited blood flow into the penis. Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking can injure blood vessels and cause scarring and plaque formation in erectile tissue. This decreases blood supply to the penis.
Our blood constantly works to correct the wear-and-tear that accumulates in our bodies, healing and repairing damage we don’t even know is there. But can the P-Shot harness these healing properties to improve function in erectile tissue?
One study demonstrated that erectile function and sexual satisfaction improved significantly after PRP injections, even six months after treatment (Tas, 2021). Another recent study found that PRP therapy improved erectile function more than a placebo (Poulious, 2021).
Unfortunately, the studies were small, so scientists will need more data before the Priapus Shot becomes a standard recommendation.
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is a condition in which the penis develops scar tissue and starts to curve. Any type of physical trauma to the penis can cause PD––including sex. PD can cause the penis to bend, resulting in pain and difficulty getting an erection.
In one small study, researchers gave people with Peyronie’s disease PRP shots combined with a substance naturally present in our body called hyaluronic acid. Bending and scarring in the penis were reduced after four treatments and some study participants reported improved sexual function (Virag, 2021).
Another study showed the PRP technique decreased penile curvature and pain in people with PD (Notsek, 2019). Again, these are small studies and more research is needed to verify the benefits of PRP for Peyronie’s disease.
Side effects of the Priapus Shot
Since the Priapus Shot uses your own blood rather than a foreign substance, the chance for adverse reactions is low.
Multiple studies have shown people who receive the P-Shot have no side effects or very mild ones, like bruising or soreness at the injection site (Epifaonva, 2020).
Disadvantages of the Priapus Shot
The Priapus Shot might sound like a magical solution: an effective treatment with minimal side effects that enhances your sex life. But there are some disadvantages.
One significant downside is the cost of the procedure. P-Shots are more expensive than prescription ED meds, costing between $1,500–$3,000 per injection. Availability is also limited since the technique is not widespread (Alkandari, 2021).
Studies have shown improvement up to six months after treatment, although you might wonder what happens after that. While the P-Shot gives people with issues like ED and PD a possible new route for treatment, more data is still needed.
- Alkandari, M. H., Touma, N., & Carrier, S. (2021). Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections for Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease: A Systematic Review of Evidence. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 10(2), 341-352. Advance online publication. doi:10.1016/j.sxmr.2020.12.004. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34219010/
- Alves, R. & Grimalt, R. (2018). A Review of Platelet-Rich Plasma: History, Biology, Mechanism of Action, and Classification. Skin Appendage Disorders, 4(1), 18–24. doi:10.1159/000477353. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5806188/
- Culha, M. G., Erkan, E., Cay, T., & Yücetaş, U. (2019). The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Peyronie’s Disease in Rat Model. Urologia Internationalis, 102(2), 218–223. doi: 10.1159/000492755. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30317233/
- Dhurat, R. & Sukesh, M. (2014). Principles and Methods of Preparation of Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Review and Author’s Perspective. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 7(4), 189–197. doi: 10.4103/0974-2077.150734. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338460/
- Epifanova, M. V., Gvasalia, B. R., Durashov, M. A., & Artemenko, S. A. (2020). Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Male Sexual Dysfunction: Myth or Reality? Sexual Medicine Reviews, 8(1), 106–113. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2019.02.002. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30898594/
- Gaweda, K., Tarczynska, M., & Krzyzanowski, W. (2010). Treatment of Achilles Tendinopathy with Platelet-Rich Plasma. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(8), 577–583. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1255028. Retrieved from http://media.admininhouse.com/uploads/estructura_3204/Treatment%20of%20Achilles%20Tendinopathy%20with%20PRP%20-%20Gaweda.pdf
- Marcovici, I. (2019). PRP and Correction of Penile Curvature (Peyronie’s Disease). The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, 36(3), 117–120. doi:10.1177/0748806818798280. Retrieved Aug 18, 2021 from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0748806818798280
- Moraes, V. Y., Lenza, M., Tamaoki, M. J., et al. (2013). Platelet-rich therapies for musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12, CD010071. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010071.pub2. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24363098/
Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.