Dr. Katherine Birchenough was the fourth physician in South Carolina to be board-certified in functional medicine in 2014. She is also an expert in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, certified in peptide therapy, and has board certifications in emergency medicine and pediatrics. Dr. Shawn Birchenough is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery and aesthetics. At OptimalSelf MD, we offer functional medicine services for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the surrounding communities in South Carolina.
Are you a man who is suffering from weakening erections, penile shortening or curvature? Are you a woman who is having a decrease in sexual pleasure, poor lubrication, pain with intercourse or an inability to achieve an orgasm?
For both men and women, changes in sexual function can have a very significant impact on self-esteem and can affect the dynamic of an otherwise healthy and fulfilling relationship. Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection and/or concerns about penile size, shape and curvature commonly happen to men as they age. Decreased sexual pleasure for a woman can stem from poor lubrication, pain with intercourse, decreased sensation, and difficulty or inability achieving orgasm. With increasing age, the blood vessels in the pelvis and sexual organs can collapse or breakdown resulting in lack of circulation, and the nerves can become less sensitive, resulting in difficulty getting aroused.
For men, commonly used treatments include prescription medications used orally or even injected into the penis before anticipated intercourse. This has to be done every time, and although they can help with erectile strength, they do nothing for sensation, strength of orgasm, or overall health.
For women, the choices are even less reliable. Kegel exercises can help but have to be done regularly to see a good result. There are a variety of lubricants available that can help with dryness. And, there are lasers available that can help with urinary incontinence and and vaginal tightening. However, none of these can increase sensation and restore sexual pleasure.
When given the opportunity, our bodies have a remarkable capacity to heal themselves. Regeneration of new tissue is accomplished by the activation of stem cells. The field of regenerative medicine harnesses the power of stem cells to restore function to the body, heal damaged or injured tissue, and reverse signs of aging.
One of the ways we can activate stem cells is with Shockwave therapy. Another is to provide growth factors that serve as messengers, calling for more of your own stem cells to heal a specific area. This is done with PRP (Platelet-rich Plasma) and Exosomes.
What is Acoustic Pressure Wave Therapy (Shockwave Therapy)?
Commonly called Shockwave Therapy, Acoustic Pressure Wave Therapy (APWT) was originally used to treat sports injuries and plantar fasciitis, but now has evolved to safely and effectively address issues of sexual wellness and dysfunction. APWT is one of the most advanced, effective natural treatments for cellular repair and rejuvenation throughout the body. Trademarked names for Shockwave Therapy include GainswaveTM, CorewaveTM, RejuvawaveTM and SwisswaveTM. All of these use the same type of pressure wave technology.
The treatment consists of noninvasive low-intensity sound waves that pass through erectile tissue, restoring natural erectile function by clearing plaque out of existing blood vessels, activating dormant stem cells, and encouraging the growth of new blood vessels and nerves.
Based on the results seen in men, many providers of this technology are also providing it for women. The resulting improved blood flow helps to increase vaginal lubrication, restore tightness and thickness of tissue, regenerate nerves, and increase the intensity of orgasm.
Lymphatic drainage is also improved with Shockwave therapy. Nerve signals can be transmitted more freely through the pelvis due to better blood flow and healthier tissue.
Both men and women report improvement in sexual arousal and function soon after the first treatment.
What Benefits Can a Man Have from Shockwave Therapy?
- Stronger, firmer erections
- Increased sensitivity in the penis
- Easier to achieve and maintain erections (i.e., improved sexual stamina)
- Increased penile length and girth
- Greater self-esteem
- Improvement in or resolution of penile curvature & pain from Peyronie’s Disease
- Resolution of penile pain with erection
- Better overall blood flow to the penis
What Benefits Can a Woman Have from Shockwave Therapy?
- Decreased or completely resolved pain during sex (known as dyspareunia)
- Increased ability to have vaginal orgasms
- Stronger and more frequent orgasms
- Greater arousal from clitoral stimulation
- Increased vaginal lubrication
- A tighter vaginal canal (if felt to be too loose prior)
- A more elastic vaginal canal (if felt to be too tight prior, usually after menopause)
- Younger, smoother skin externally (lips of the vagina)
- Decreased or resolved overactive bladder and/or urinary incontinence
What does the treatment involve?
After a consultation with the physician, you will have a brief exam and labs will be drawn to check hormone levels and other necessary tests. At your follow-up, if you are determined to be a good candidate, you will have your first treatment. A topical numbing cream is applied and allowed to work for 20-30 minutes. The procedure itself takes less than 30 minutes.
How many treatments will I need, and how long does it last?
We recommend at least 6 treatments of Shockwave therapy. They can be done as often as every 3 days. Some patients will require up to 12 sessions. The second set of 6 sessions, if needed, will be provided at a discounted rate. Current recommendations advise repeating a series of 6 treatments every 2 years to maintain optimal functioning.
Is there any downtime?
A topical anesthetic is applied for the procedure. It is safe to participate in intercourse about 4 hours after the procedure, once the numbing agent has worn off. There are no activity restrictions.
Is there anything else to do at home after the procedure?
Although there is no specific aftercare, for men desiring optimal results, we encourage the use of a vacuum erectile device (VED) up to twice daily for a few weeks following the procedure. For women, we recommend the use of the Intensity pelvic floor stimulation device up to twice daily. We provide these devices and instruct you on proper use at the first session.
What are the potential side effects?
The potential side effects are minimal and include minor bruising, swelling, soreness, occasional minor bleeding, and very rarely, infection. If you are taking any blood thinners like Plavix, aspirin, Coumadin, Xarelto, or Eliquis, you may not be a good candidate, and these MUST be held prior to treatment.
For Best Results:
We recommend the Sexual Optimization Package that starts with natural hormone balancing, and combines The Optimal Shot with Shockwave Therapy.
OptimalSelf MD is the first center in South Carolina to offer plastic surgery, aesthetics, and wellness for men and women in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Spartanburg, and the nearby areas of South Carolina. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your functional medicine treatment plan.