Ever since Botox received FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2002, the number of people using this treatment has risen steadily. Although today it is most commonly associated with restoring a youthful appearance, Botox injections are in fact used to treat several medical conditions. A study recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine now examines another potential use for Botox -- as a treatment for relieving penile retraction, a condition sometimes referred to as "short penis."
Botox is the trademarked name for Botulinum Toxin A, a neurotoxin associated with Botulism (a form of food poisoning). This neurotoxin functions by attaching to nerve endings and blocking the signals that normally tell muscles to contract. In other words, it causes paralysis.
It is this immobility that makes Botox an effective method for erasing frown lines from the face and crow's-feet from around the eyes. If a part of the body cannot move, it cannot wrinkle. The paralyzing effect is also a property which leads some researchers to believe that Botox might make an effective treatment for men concerned with having a short flaccid penis.
Hyperactive Retraction Reflex
A normal man's flaccid penis will tend to retract (shrink) under certain conditions such as cold weather or while exercising. For some this involuntary shrinkage can occur at the most embarrassing times such as prior to intercourse or when exposed in showers or locker-rooms. This is a condition known as hyperactive retraction reflex.
The retraction itself is caused by a contraction of the dartos muscle -- the layer of smooth muscular fiber located beneath the skin of the scrotum. So while a man may normally have an average sized erect penis, retraction can lead to the appearance of a much smaller penis in the flaccid state.
Short Penis Study
In a clinical study, researchers injected Botox into the dartos in an attempt to prevent this retraction and induce muscle relaxation. The aim of this study was to propose an alternative to penis surgery and penile extenders for alleviating penile retraction.
The experiment was somewhat successful: 7 out of 10 men reported improvement in length. It should be noted however that the effects were temporary and improvement faded after only 6 months. While no side effects were reported, it's important to understand the inherent risks of introducing a neurotoxin into the body. A complete abstract of the study can be found here:
Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) for Relieving Penile Retraction
Posted by PRS
Friday, August 14th, 2009
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