The "O-Shot" Claims To Give Women Better Orgasms, But Is It Safe?

It's all too common for a lot of women to have difficulty achieving orgasm. Whether you've always had trouble getting off or once orgasmed with ease and now have issues, you're not alone. Unfortunately, there's no one magic solution that will allow women to come with the frequency and intensity of adult film stars. However, some cities now offer vagina spas, which hope to help women of all ages pamper themselves.

VSPOT MediSpa in NYC — founded by former Real Housewives of New York City star Cindy Barshop — offers many services to rejuvenate your vagina. In an Elite Daily article, one woman braved the spa in an attempt to see what all the fuss was about. Bypassing services like the vagina steam (to "cleanse, tone and nourish the cervix, uterus, and vaginal tissue") and the V-Lift (to give you Kylie Jenner-esque lips... down there), the author, Emily McCombs, settled on the "O-Shot," a procedure to enhance sexual pleasure.

Invented by Charles Runels, MD, the $1,200-$1,500 procedure works by injecting your own blood plasma into your vagina, which aims to "rejuvenates" the vagina and helps with issues like incontinence, dryness, and looseness, in addition to helping add sexual sensation. After the procedure (which was apparently painless), McCombs said her orgasms did feel "different," and her boyfriend noted that she felt tighter post-shot.

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But is it all too good to be true? Bustle reached out to Dr. Runels for comment to see why the procedure works, but he could not be reached. We'll update this post if he responds.

Dr. Lauren Streicher, an Ob/Gyn at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health and Your Best Sex Ever, spoke to Bustle about the "O-Shot" and its potential drawbacks.

"There's no science behind it — none," Streicher says. "Whenever you do anything in medicine, whether it's a new drug or procedure, you're obligated...to do an adequate trial. The bottom line is we don't have any evidence to prove it does work. You can give anecdotal evidence, which may be real or may be the placebo effect."

McCombs certainly didn't rule this out, either:

"It definitely seemed a little different, but I hadn’t gotten off for awhile before that, so I wasn’t totally sure it was the shot. And I felt the same way about the next few orgasms — yeah, they seemed a little different, but was it really the shot, or was this just an “I want to believe” situation because I let someone put a needle in my vagina?"

Like many procedures, it may work for some and not for others, but Streicher emphasizes that without a proper clinical trial, you can guarantee neither its effectiveness nor its safety.

"I'm not minimizing the distress of women who are having difficulty reaching orgasm," Streicher says. "When you look at women with true orgasmic dysfunction, it's usually for a very specific medical reason, like diabetes, radiation from cancer, etc. [However], some people just have difficulties. I totally understand that women are willing to try anything, they want [the ability to orgasm] back if they lost it. I understand the rationalization of wanting to try it."

According to its website, the O-Shot is a "very specific method of using blood-derived growth factors to rejuvenate the vagina to help relieve women with urinary incontinence and sex problems." It also warns that if it's "done in the wrong way, results could be useless or worse." Meaning, the actual procedure is trademarked and should not be performed by an uncertified provider.

Whether or not you're willing to try such an expensive and uncertain procedure is between you and your doctor. In the meantime, here are five other methods that could help you get in tune with your vagina and (hopefully) improve your orgasm.

1. Botanicals

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So herbal aphrodisiacs may not be proven to work, but as Streicher says, as long as they aren't burning or irritating you, it's a pretty harmless alternative to try (unlike sticking a needle into your vagina). If you're looking to increase your libido or sexual pleasure, herbs like yohimbe, damiana, and the aptly named horny goat weed might just do the trick. You can sip a sexy herbal tea, slip into bed with your partner after, and see if you notice a difference when the lights go out.

2. Fiera

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This device is designed to help with "before-play" by getting you all warmed up. Fiera is an arousal tool marketed towards women who've noticed a dip in their desire. According to a consumer survey, 87 percent of women felt "in the mood" after using it, and 67 percent noticed increased genital lubrication. It may not be a permanent fix if you've always struggled to reach orgasm, but this $250 tool certainly can't hurt.

3. Kegels

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Ahh, good ol' kegels to the rescue. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which in turn could help you have stronger orgasms. They keep organs like your bladder, uterus, and vagina in place (which is always good), and can help with issues like incontinence in addition to improving your sexual function.

4. Intensity

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Similar to Fiera, Intensity is a $199 tool designed to increase women's sexual arousal. It's basically like kegels on steroids: it "inflates inside the vagina to place muscle stimulation contacts directly onto the pelvic floor muscles walls." Streicher also mentioned that this tool has been proven to work, and once said in Cosmopolitan that it's "like a trip to the gym for your pelvic floor."

5. Masturbation

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When all else fails, practice! Among other benefits, regular masturbation can keep you in the mood for sex, and teaches you about your body and what you like. If you know what makes you tick, you're more likely to be able to guide your partner in getting you off. Streicher said many women with difficulty orgasming simply aren't educated about female anatomy, and assume they should be able to get off from penetration alone (which isn't the case). Spend time getting in touch (literally) with your body, and reap the rewards.

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (6)