Can platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy treat erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about 1 in 10 men aged under 40 and it becomes more common with increasing age, so that by the time men hit their mid-80s, just about all of them will have ED.
Erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing and a source of stress for your relationship with your partner, so finding effective ways to treat it is important.
There are a few places that offer injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to treat erectile dysfunction. Basically, the treatment involves withdrawing some of your blood and processing it in a machine to isolate the platelets and white blood cells and some of the liquid part of the blood (the plasma) and then injecting that into the erectile tissue in your penis.
The cost of PRP injections is variable but usually starts at around $1,500 per injection. The injections are not covered by Medicare and might not be covered by your private health insurance.
There is very limited evidence that PRP injections are an effective treatment for ED. Only one clinical trial has shown a small benefit of PRP injection of ED, in heterosexual men aged 40-70 with mild-to-moderate (not severe) ED. Criteria for the study (e.g. abstaining from alcohol and other recreational drugs before sex) mean that the results are only applicable in specific circumstances and for a particular subset of men with ED.
Perhaps the most important consideration about the results of the trial is the method used for the preparation of PRP. There is wide variability in the composition of PRP, depending on the laboratory method that is used to prepare it, so treatments from different clinics can have different outcomes.
Another important thing about erectile dysfunction treatments is making sure it’s not a symptom of some other health problem. People with ED are more likely to have serious cardiovascular problems like a heart attack or stroke than people who don’t have problems getting erections. If you have ED, you really need a thorough investigation.
When it comes to medicine, the newest and most cutting-edge treatments are not always the best. The right person to help you with finding a treatment for ED that suits you is your GP.