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The P-Shot: Benefits, Costs & Side Effects

Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD, MPH

Reviewed by Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD

Written by Rachel Sacks

Published 07/31/2021

Updated 02/14/2024

Would you inject your own blood into your penis if it meant better sexual function? 

While it may sound like a gimmick or merely something for shock value, the P-shot (or Priapus shot) is actually a well-researched medical procedure used to improve sexual health in men.

The P-shot for men is a penis-specific version of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment — a treatment where a supply of the “good stuff” in your blood is drawn from your arm, concentrated and then injected at the site where those components are needed.

We know: needles, “experimental” treatments and your penis don’t exactly seem like an ideal combo on paper. But there is some evidence that suggests this treatment may be beneficial for improving male sexual dysfunction and sexual performance.

We’re not saying this is a new miracle erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment — research is still in an early phase, and a claim like that is far from supported at this point. 

But for people who are experiencing ED and finding current treatments ineffective, the potential P-shot benefits may be worth considering. 

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What Is the Priapus Shot (P-Shot) Used for?

As we mentioned above, the Priapus shot can be used for male enhancement and to improve sexual activity. But what does this mean exactly? Is it efficient for erectile dysfunction? What is the P-shot used for?

Named after the Greek god of sexual health, the Priapus shot was first used by Dr. Charles Runels (of Kardashian vampire facial fame — bet you never thought you’d read those words in an article about treating erectile dysfunction).

Platelet-rich plasma treatment is said to be successful for several urologic conditions, dermatologic conditions and musculoskeletal injuries, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Muscle, nerve, tendon and joint injuries

  • Peyronie's disease, a condition where abnormal scarring causes penile curvatures and shape changes

  • Stress urinary incontinence

  • Male enhancement

  • Hair loss

It may also be an effective treatment for hair loss.

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How the P-Shot Works

As we mentioned, P-shots are a version of PRP treatment, which is a simple process that’s a bit like a blood transplant.

A PRP treatment usually follows these steps:

  • A healthcare professional draws a blood sample from your body, typically from your arm.

  • The blood is centrifuged to separate into three components — platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma and red blood cells.

  • The platelet-rich plasma is extracted with a syringe. Then a local anesthetic is used to numb the injection site and the PRP extract is injected into whatever body part you’re trying to treat — which is the penis, in the case of P-shots.

What actually happens once the platelets are injected is less clear. According to one study, the concentrated platelets seem to result in a large increase in various growth factors wherever they’re injected.

This could mean that the cells and tissue injected into your penile tissues promote growth and increase blood flow — a necessary part of getting erections — to give you firmer erections for better sex.

P-Shot Benefits: The Research

Recent research has looked to P-shot treatment as one of the latest ED treatments, with studies showing promising results.

In one study of PRP injections, none of the patients experienced complications after treatment, and the injections were considered effective for ED. However, this was a very small study of only 17 patients.

A slightly larger study of over 60 men with mild to moderate ED also found that two plasma-rich platelet injections taken a month apart were safe. However, researchers didn’t find any difference between the PRP treatment and a placebo.

In short, P-shots are still considered a novel treatment, and we’ll need to see a lot more research before we can support its effectiveness as a viable ED treatment.

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How Much Does the P-Shot Cost?

Wondering what to expect when it comes to the P-shot cost? 

The price tag of this procedure can vary, based on factors like your geographic location, the healthcare provider performing the procedure (it's only done by a few trained healthcare professionals) and more logistics.

A 2020 report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found the average fee for a PRP procedure was just short of $1,000, not including other expenses like prep and aftercare.

But where you get your treatment done can affect the cost — for example, a single procedure averaging between $1200 and $1800 at Bella Medical Aesthetics in Maryland, while the same procedure could cost upwards of $1800 at Miami Aesthetic Institute in Miami, Florida.

You should also know that since Priapus shots are often deemed a cosmetic treatment, your health insurance may not cover them.

What Are the Risks and Side Effects of the P-Shot?

Of course, as with any medication or treatment, there can be risks involved with P-shots and other ED injections. A risk to be aware of is that the treatment may not work. 

Reported P-shot side effects have generally included:

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Pain and discomfort at the site of injection

  • Bleeding

  • Bruising

  • Infection

  • Allergic reactions, although these are rare

Alternatives to the P-Shot for Men

If you’re still looking for a solution for erectile dysfunction, vampire penile facials aren’t the only way to go.

One of the most researched and proven effective ways to treat ED is the use of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors. These medications block an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5), which then helps increase blood flow to your penis.

You’re probably familiar with some PDE5 inhibitors, like:

These medications are available as either oral tablets or convenient chewable hard mints.

Of course, PDE5 inhibitors work best for physical causes of erectile dysfunction. But if you deal with depression or find yourself plagued by sexual performance anxiety in the bedroom, you could benefit from counseling. Talk therapy can help many causes of psychological ED, whether it’s relationship issues, an anxiety disorder or work stress.

You can identify what triggers your anxiety or stress with a mental health professional in online therapy.

If you’re looking at the P-shot to enhance what you already have, you can look into alternative options like penis enlargement surgery. We also recommend reading up on whether or not penis enlargement pills actually work.

There are also other options to consider like vacuum erection devices, injectable medications, and implants.

And for extra help increasing sexual function and sexual satisfaction, lifestyle changes like cutting back on alcohol and quitting smoking are always a good idea for your general health and penis health. 

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Final Thoughts on the P-Shot for Men

So — you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction or want to improve your sex life. Out of the many treatment options available, P-shots might be standing out to you. If you’re curious about trying this treatment, here’s what you need to know:

  • The Priapus shot (or P-shot) is a potential treatment for erectile dysfunction that involves injecting plasma-rich platelets collected from your own blood into your penis. It’s a penis-specific type of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment.

  • PRP is FDA-approved and has been used for wound healing, as well as to treat musculoskeletal injuries, Peyronie's disease and urinary incontinence. So far, it seems like a safe treatment.

  • Despite its safety, recent studies have shown conflicting results regarding the effectiveness of PRP therapy. Studies on P-shots have also been limited in size.

If you’re considering PRP as a treatment for your ED, you should also consider the many other treatment options that may work as well or better. Talk to a healthcare provider about treatments like erectile dysfunction medications, which can be taken alongside PRP treatment.

9 Sources

  1. The Priapus Shot Or P-Shot®. (n.d.). Center for Advanced Urology. Retrieved from https://www.centerforadvancedurology.com/sexual-health/the-priapus-shot-or-p-shot/
  2. Middleton, K. K., Barro, V., Muller, B., Terada, S., & Fu, F. H. (2012). Evaluation of the effects of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involved in the healing of sports-related soft tissue injuries. The Iowa orthopaedic journal, 32, 150–163. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565396/
  3. Matz, E. L., Pearlman, A. M., & Terlecki, R. P. (2018). Safety and feasibility of platelet rich fibrin matrix injections for treatment of common urologic conditions. Investigative and clinical urology, 59(1), 61–65. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5754585/
  4. Krzastek, S. C., Bopp, J., Smith, R. P., & Kovac, J. R. (2019). Recent advances in the understanding and management of erectile dysfunction. F1000Research, 8, F1000 Faculty Rev-102. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348436/
  5. Anastasiadis, E., Ahmed, R., Khoja, A. K., & Yap, T. (2022). Erectile dysfunction: Is platelet-rich plasma the new frontier for treatment in patients with erectile dysfunction? A review of the existing evidence. Frontiers in reproductive health, 4, 944765. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9580815/
  6. Masterson, T. A., Molina, M., Ledesma, B., Zucker, I., Saltzman, R., Ibrahim, E., Han, S., Reis, I. M., & Ramasamy, R. (2023). Platelet-rich Plasma for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial. The Journal of urology, 210(1), 154–161. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37120727/
  7. 2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. (n.d.). American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Retrieved from https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2020.pdf
  8. P-Shot Cost in Ellicott City, Maryland: Is It Affordable? (2022, February 25). Bella Medical Aesthetics. Retrieved from https://bellamedicalaesthetic.com/p-shot-cost-in-ellicott-city-maryland-is-it-affordable/
  9. P-Shot: $1800 Enjoy A Larger, Stronger Erection The Day Of Treatment. (n.d.). Miami Aesthetic Institute. Retrieved from https://miamiaestheticinstitute.com/procedures/sexual-enhancement-services-for-men/p-shot/
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Denise Asafu-Adjei, MD

Dr. Denise Asafu-Adjei is a trailblazing, dynamic, award-winning urologist and researcher. A proud first generation Ghanaian-American, hailing from Bronx, NY, she graduated from the world-renowned Bronx High School of Science. She went on to attend the esteemed Carnegie Mellon University, earning a Bachelor of Science and Minor in Healthcare Policy and Management. During her college years, she solidified her dedication to medicine and scientific research and developed a strong interest in health policy and broader health system issues. She obtained her M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School (Go Blue!).

During medical school, she took a year off to obtain a Master’s in Public Health from the prominent Harvard School of Public Health, with a focus on Healthcare Management. Urology proved to be the perfect intersection for her passion for surgery, general love for engaging with people, and unique ability to connect with others on sensitive issues. She completed her urology residency at the distinguished Columbia University Irving Medical Center, becoming the first Black woman to complete this residency in 2020. She joined the ranks of the 2% of Black urologists in the United States. Dr. Denise completed a competitive Fellowship in Andrology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), becoming an expert in male infertility and sexual dysfunction.

Dr. Denise is currently an Assistant Professor of Urology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where she serves as the Medical Director of Male Reproductive Medicine. She also holds a dual appointment at the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health.

Dr. Denise strives to utilize her clinical research to help healthcare systems achieve equitable access for patients and high-quality healthcare for male reproductive and sexual dysfunction services. She is also passionate about mentorship and continues to actively mentor medical students and residents. Finally, she seeks to ultimately create and expand urological exchange programs and partnerships in her family’s homeland, Ghana, and other African countries.

Dr. Denise is an active member of various professional organizations and a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She serves on the Alumni Board of Carnegie Mellon University and is on the Medical Advisory Board for Hims & Hers.

Dr. Denise enjoys leisure international travel, golf, musicals, political history, and cooking. She also loves spending time with family and friends.

Publications

  • Nam, C. S., Campbell, K. J., Acquati, C., Bole, R., Adler, A., Collins, D. J., Collins, E., Samplaski, M., Anderson-Bialis, J., Andino, J. J., Asafu-Adjei, D., Gaskins, A. J., Bortoletto, P., Vij, S. C., Orwig, K. E., & Lundy, S. D. (2023). The Deafening Silence of Male Infertility. Urology, S0090-4295(23)00837-3. Advance online publication. https://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295(23)00837-3/fulltext

  • Khera, M., Langston, J. P., Pollard, M. E., Asafu-Adjei, D., Edwards, N. C., Nitschelm, K. D., Patel, M., & Bhattacharyya, S. K. (2023). Implantable Penile Prosthesis for Erectile Dysfunction: Insurance Coverage in the United States. Urology practice, 10(5), 501–510. https://www.auajournals.org/doi/10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000416

  • Gurayah, A. A., Mohamed, A. I., Rahman, F., Bernstein, A. P., Asafu-Adjei, D., Ezeh, U. C., Willey, B. C., Balumuka, D., Yarholar, L. M., Gosman, A., & Ramasamy, R. (2023). The Revolving Door of Residency: Predictors of Residency Attrition for Urology Matriculants Between 2001 and 2016. Urology, 177, 21–28. https://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295(23)00309-6/fulltext

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