The iconic film “When Harry Met Sally” includes an extremely memorable scene where actress Meg Ryan, while having lunch with a friend in a restaurant, noisily simulates having an orgasm.
Impressed, and possibly a little envious, a fellow diner — an older woman — tells her waiter when he arrives to take her order: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
The scene elicited a lot of laughs, but it touched on a very serious topic: many women don’t experience fulfilling sex at home.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1999, more than 50 million American women are estimated to have trouble between the sheets.
Michelle, a 53-year-old who asked “Good Morning America” not to use her real name, said she just figured her lack of sexual satisfaction was “part of life at this point, because of my age …”
But there may be hope for women who are similarly disappointed in bed.
A new injection now being tested could help improve female sexual desire and function.
The injection could be to female orgasms what the little blue pill was for male sexual performance when it was first introduced.
In an early study, sexual medicine specialist Dr. Samuel Wood says he injected 80 women with the so-called “O-shot” and he says it worked on nearly 85 percent of the subjects.
“The most common thing I hear is ‘wow, what an orgasm,’” Wood, the medical director of Reproductive Sciences Center and the Scientific Director at La Jolla Centre for Sexual Health, said of the effect.
Wood and Dr. Charles Runels co-developed the procedure.
The shot contains a woman’s own platelets, which are injected directly into her vagina. Dr. Wood says the platelets stimulate the growth of new cells, making the injected areas more sensitive.
Wood, who started clinical trials of the injection in 2011, says the shot affects “all aspects” of female sexual function – including arousal, libido and orgasm.
The study may be long overdue. Of 24 FDA-approved medications for sexual dysfunction, none are for women.
Michelle, a single mother from California, certainly appreciates it.
“I think the O-shot is a home run that we all need,” she said.
She was newly divorced when she had the O-shot in November. With a topical anesthetic, she says the injection didn’t even sting.
“After I got the shot and I had sex for the first time, I was amazed at how my body felt and how wonderful I felt mentally,” she said.
Despite Michelle’s enthusiasm, the O-shot may not wow everyone.
Wood warns the injection isn’t for women who are taking certain medications — such as anti-depressants — or who have relationship issues.
And while Dr. Jennifer Berman, a practicing urologist and expert in women’s sexual health issues, commended Wood for thinking about new treatments for female sexual dysfunction, she added a caveat: “Injecting growth factors into the genital tract of a woman has risks associated with it and the benefits have not been teased out.”
Berman — who appears on the TV medical talk show “The Doctors” — and other experts say that the injection could cause complications, such as scarring, or infection, and that other types of studies are needed to prove the treatment really works and is not merely a placebo effect.
Wood says the procedure is very safe and that he plans more in-depth studies.