Botox for Penis: What you need to know about Botox for Penis
- Medical Community Member - August 21st 2018
- General Public
There is no shortage of demand for solutions to cosmetic or medical issues related to the penis. Concerns about size and sexual function are common among men, and for that reason, much research and resources have been devoted to finding a “Holy Grail” therapy that can provide long-term solutions in an effective and minimally invasive manner. Now, emerging results from sexual health studies have pointed to botulinum toxins, such as Botox, as having the potential to revolutionize how male sexual dysfunctional disorders are treated.
Anatomy of the human penis
The human penis consists of a penile shaft that is made up of three columns of tissue: two corpora cavernosa on either side of the corpus spongiosum that is situated in between. The urethra runs through the center of the corpus spongiosum and is the main passage for urine and semen. At the tip of the penis, the tissue of the corpus spongiosum expands into a structure known as the glans penis.
The corpora cavernosa is considered erectile tissue, as it plays a major role in achieving erection. During sexual stimulation, the fibrous tissue of the corpus cavernosa expands from increased blood flow into the area. As a result, the penis become hard, enlarged, and erect.
Mechanism of action of Botox
Botox paralyzes the treated muscle(s), thereby relaxing the muscle. Botox does this by acting on nerve endings to prevent acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that tells muscles to move, from going from the nerves to the muscles. This effect is not permanent: this is thought to be due to the re-innervation of the muscle that gradually reverses the effects of Botox.
Botox for the treatment of erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man is not able to achieve or maintain an erection, even with sexual stimulation. This disorder is very common, particularly in older men. Botox can help treat ED by relaxing the smooth muscle tissue located within the erectile chamber of the penis. This in turn helps to increase penile blood flow, a very important factor involved in maintaining an erection. A recent pilot study noted the efficacy of Botox treatment in patients that have ED. In this study, the men treated with 50 units of Botox administered via intracavernosal injection saw an improvement in their penile arterial blood flow and overall sexual functioning when evaluated two weeks after treatment.
Botox for the treatment of premature ejaculation
The reasoning behind using Botox to treat premature ejaculation stems from the nature of ejaculation, which involves rhythmic contractions of the bulbospongiosus, a superficial muscle that extends from the centre of the perineum to the base of the penis, and the ischiocavernosus muscles. Thus, by relaxing the bulbospongiosus muscle via Botox, these contractions can be inhibited, delaying ejaculation. The potential for Botox to treat premature ejaculation has been assessed in an animal study that looked at the sexual performances of rats after Botox treatment. In this study, rats that received injections of the toxin to the bulbospongiosus muscle displayed an extended period of ejaculatory latency of 10 minutes instead of the pretreatment average of 4.4 minutes. Additionally, the researchers note that this treatment did not affect the health of the rats, nor did it affect the ability of the rats to achieve intromission or ejaculation.
With such promising results, this study has opened up a potential avenue for future research into the concept of Botox as a treatment for premature ejaculation.
Botox for penis enlargement
The length of one’s penis is a major concern in many men. Unfortunately, there are few available options to correct this cosmetic issue that does not involve costly, high-risk surgery. Botox may soon change this. A study by Shaeer et al. treated patients who had hyperactive penile retraction reflex, where the excessive contraction of the penis (colloquially known as “shrinkage”) results in the appearance of a small penis, with four Botox injections to the dartos muscle, which is the muscle responsible for penile retraction. The results were remarkable: seven out of the 10 patients that were treated reported a noticeable cessation of penile retraction and an improvement in flaccid penile length. While this study had many limitations—including a small sample size, for one—it nonetheless demonstrated the viability of Botox as a penis enlargement treatment.
Botox is not just for the face; instead, emerging evidence in the field of sexual heath has demonstrated that there is great potential for Botox to treat issues of sexual dysfunction in men, including erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Additionally, Botox has the capability to cosmetically enhance the penis by increasing its flaccid length.