Maybe you’ve heard about an injection in your lady parts that is supposed to give you stronger, better orgasms. Maybe from a friend who goes on and on about the Meg-Ryan-in-the-diner moments she’s been having. The first question that comes to mind is: Who wouldn’t be interested in that? The second one is: Does the O Shot work?
In what will come as a surprise to exactly no one, as you get older, your sex drive tends to wane. And women, sadly, are two to three times more likely to be affected than men. But there is a way to help counteract that: a quick injection that promises to have you feeling hot and bothered in the best possible way.
The O Shot, which has been around since 2013, injects special blood components into your vagina that helps rev up nerves, collagen, and blood vessels “downtown.” Not only can this allegedly increase your ability to orgasm, but it can help with incontinence. Like other aesthetic procedures, you’ll have to find a doctor who’s certified to give the O-Shot—and don’t count on the cost (on average $1,400) to be covered by your health insurance.
Let’s reiterate: The O-Shot does involve taking a needle in your clitoris. And not all doctors are believers. But according to these three women, it’s worth it.
“Even if your sex is already good, don’t you want it to be great?”
I’m a board-certified OB/GYN and in 2015, decided it was worth the trip—two planes and an hour drive—to attend a training to learn more about the O-Shot.
I don’t offer procedures to my patients unless I’ve done them myself, so while there, I volunteered to have one so I could feel how it worked. After going through menopause, my sensation had seriously diminished. It was a lot more difficult to enjoy intimacy. The O-Shot seemed simple enough so I decided to give it a try.
Then the platelet-rich plasma was injected into the front wall of my vagina and clitoris.
First, a topical numbing cream was applied, then ice and a local anesthetic were used to further avoid any discomfort. Blood was drawn from my arm, like for any other blood test, and in a lab, my blood was spun so that the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which contains the growth factors needed to grow new tissue, was isolated. About 20 minutes later, the PRP was injected into the front wall of my vagina and clitoris.
Immediately afterwards, the area was a little more sensitive. That lasted the first day or so but it wasn’t a bad thing. It heightened the intensity of my orgasms!
Once you have an O-Shot, it takes about three weeks for the effects to kick in, with the full benefits occurring around three months. Even if your sexual sensation is good, it can be great.
On average, the O-Shot lasts about a year, but, luckily, having another one brings those feelings right back.
— Carolyn DeLucia, 55
“Why accept what’s happening as we age if there’s a procedure that could help?”
I’m the biggest baby on the planet. I hyperventilate when it’s time for a flu shot. The idea of someone sticking a needle in my clitoris sounds awful. But three years ago, I did it anyway.
At the time, my libido was good because I was balancing my hormones. Still, sex wasn’t as easy as it had been in my 20s. And like so many of the patients in their mid-40s whom I see as a board-certified OB/GYN, vaginal dryness made it harder to enjoy being intimate.
I was also in need of a good option to treat my leaky bladder. I got to the point where I wouldn’t dare jump rope in CrossFit or I’d end up soaking wet. After three kids, my bladder just wasn’t what it used to be.
My research led me to the O-Shot. I took a Xanax prescription with me to the clinic, but, thankfully, my anticipation was worse than the actual shot, which was over really quickly.
One day, about six weeks later, I realized I was laughing hard and I didn’t completely pee my pants!
The effects came on gradually. One day, about six weeks later, I thought, I was just laughing so hard and I didn’t completely pee my pants! I also stopped reaching for KY Jelly in the bedroom. Having an orgasm became much easier and quicker.
I talk about sex with my patients all day long so I don’t see the fact that I had an O-Shot as a secret. I view it as empowering. We don’t have to live with incontinence or having a difficult time reaching an orgasm. We don’t have to accept what’s happening to our bodies as we age if there’s a procedure to help us.
When the O-shot is used for incontinence, I’ve seen about a 90-plus percent success rate. It also helps women to orgasm, but that’s more complicated. I mean, if your bedroom is a mess and the kids are outside your door and you’re feeling fat or bloated—all those things can affect how good an orgasm is. I tell my patients, “The O-Shot works down there, not up there [in your brain] and it does nothing for your partner.” It’s not a miracle treatment, but it is a great option.
— Amy Brenner, 48
“I was skeptical”
My issues didn’t begin with what was happening between the sheets. Fifteen years ago, I had what’s called a vaginal sling procedure to help my incontinence. It’s a major surgery, and it took me three weeks to recover.
My symptoms disappeared for about 10 years. But in 2013, my incontinence returned. I did a lot of horseback riding at the time, but even wearing pads under my clothes, I worried I would pee myself and my horse.
During sex, I found I could orgasm faster and more intensely. Without my discussing the procedure, my partner noticed a difference too.
I wasn’t looking forward to another sling procedure, so I began researching less traumatic options. When I heard about the O-Shot, I was skeptical. Would it really work? There wasn’t a lot of research on it. Still, I wanted to try.
Surprisingly, the pain was minimal—about as uncomfortable as having an IV started in your arm. Within a few weeks, I could tell a difference. My incontinence went away. I could ride horses and not worry about losing urine. And during sex, I found I could orgasm faster and more intensely. Without my discussing the procedure, my partner noticed a difference too.
Since the effects only last about a year, I’ve since gotten three more O-Shots. Would I recommend it to other women? Absolutely.
— Susan*, 58
*Name has been changed
What You Need to Know About the O-Shot
The three women we interviewed had great experiences with the O-Shot. If you’re considering getting one, we advise you to discuss the procedure with your healthcare practitioner to get their take. Here are some facts to consider.
* The O-Shot injects platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is created from a sample of your own blood to have a higher concentration of platelets than normal. Why? The results are rich in growth factors—substances that encourage other types of new cells to grow like crazy—and are reputed to rejuvenate tissue. PRP has also been used in wound care, dental surgery, and cosmetic procedures. Some athletes even get injections of it to help injuries heal faster.
Some medical professionals say there’s not enough credible scientific data to prove the procedure effective or safe.
* The shot was pioneered by internist/ER doctor Charles Runels, MD, in 2011. At that time, he was best known as the inventor of the “Vampire Facelift,” in which PRP is injected into the face to allegedly create a more youthful look. Dr. Runels then-girlfriend suggested he inject PRP into her clitoris, and the O Shot was born.
* Not all medical professionals support the O-Shot, with some saying there is not enough credible scientific data to prove the procedure effective or safe.
*Side effects can include a tendency to ejaculate (yes, some women release a fluid during orgasm); urgency, or frequent need to urinate; sexual arousal with urination; and spotting.
*Over 1,000 providers in the U.S. have been trained to give the O-Shot. You can find them here.
A version of this story was originally published in March 2018.