PRP injection treatment in Women’s Health
What is PRP?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with concentrated platelets (the body’s repairmen for damaged tissue). The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the healing process.
How is PRP used in medicine?
PRP has been used extensively in dermatology, orthopaedics, sports medicine, joint repair, hair growth, wound healing, burn healing, dentistry and surgery for decades in this and other countries. PRP comes from your own body. Your own blood is drawn and sterilely processed in a highly specialized TGA approved collection kit and centrifuge to concentrate the platelets 6 times their natural values in pure plasma without any red cells. This reaches the most optimal treatment value of 1.5 million platelets per unit.
What are the uses of PRP in women’s Health?
Lichen Sclerosis (LS) – This is an autoimmune condition affecting the labia, which makes the area have thick, white tissue, especially around the clitoris, causing pain, burning and scarring. It is usually treated fairly well with chronic use of steroid ointments frequently applied directly to the abnormal tissue. There is no specific cause, but it is well known to be associated with hypothyroid, low systemic vitamin D and high gluten and other inflammatory foods in the diet. Wide area local injections with larger volumes of non-activated PRP have shown amazing success at treating this condition. LS treatment requires a series of injections for best results, so please inquire about our specific LS package plan.
Lichen Planus (LP) – This is another autoimmune condition with no specific cause. Very often women have hot, dry, red streaks on the inner labia as well as a similar lacey appearance to the mucous membranes of the mouth. It is also treated with chronic steroids or PRP.
Vulvodynia – This is a non-specific term meaning any chronic pain in the outer vaginal and labia area. Once we determine the cause, PRP may be helpful in symptom resolution.
Stress Urinary Leakage – Leaking urine with a laugh, cough, sneeze, run, jump or move. Due to laxity of the pelvic floor muscle support at the bladder neck, one is unable to hold in the urine. Also helped by vaginal estrogen and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.
Pain with Sex – This has many different causes, some of which can be improved with PRP. Depending on the underlying reason, oestrogens, dilators, lubricants and good foreplay can be of great help.
Vaginal Dryness – This always occurs in menopause, sometimes with low dose birth control pills, often with breast feeding and after treatment for breast cancer. PRP might help lubrication, but it is not the main expected outcome.
Female sexual Dysfunction
PRP use in sexual dysfunction is considered to be a revolutionary new nonsurgical outpatient treatment that helps improve both urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction through using a woman’s own growth factors. The PRP is injected into specific areas of the vagina with the aid of local anaesthetic cream. This modality of treatment is also called the “O-shot.” PRP immediately activates tissue regeneration, and the enhancement in sexual response is dramatic. The desired response includes improved arousal, stronger orgasm, decreased pain during sex, and increased natural lubrication
What does PRP treatment involve?
PRP treatment usually takes around 40 minutes in total. One or two small vials of your blood are taken (8-16ml approx.) and placed in a specialised centrifuge that separates the plasma (containing the platelets) from the red cells. The plasma is then collected from the tube leaving the red cells behind. The plasma is injected into the target area(s) in small amounts using a thin needle and/or applied to the surface of the target area(s). There are no foreign materials injected with the PRP, so only the patient’s own cells (‘autologous’) are used.
Generally, the whole process involves minimal discomfort. However, some patients will find some areas of the vaginal more sensitive than other parts during injecting. Any swelling or bruising after the procedure will usually disappear overnight. For skin treatments (i.e. face, neck, vulva), any bruising disappears after a few days.
Patient preparation for PRP treatment
5-7 days before treatment:
Stop taking supplements that increase bleeding/bruising: green tea, fish oils, Evening Primrose oil, garlic, Echinacea, St John’s wort, Vitamin E, Non-steroidal drugs, aspirin (only after discussing with your doctor).
Drink plenty of water before and after your treatment.
Contraindications to treatment with PRP include:
Blood disorders/Platelet abnormalities/Anticoagulation therapy (if you have not stopped)/Steroid therapy.