Can Shockwave Therapy Treat Your Erectile Dysfunction? Here’s what you need to know
Erectile dysfunction is a common problem that men face – one that shouldn’t be embarrassing to talk about or seek treatment.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 1 in 10 men will suffer from erectile dysfunction in their lifetime. If you’re wondering if you fall into this category, the clinic defines difficulty getting and keeping an erection more than 50% of the time as an indicator of erectile dysfunction.
Fortunately, many of the treatment options available today can help you get back in the bag in no time. But if taking a pill before every sex to maintain an erection sounds like a mood killer, shockwave therapy, a non-drug alternative treatment for erectile dysfunction, might interest you.
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If you’re wondering how safe it is to pump your private parts with electricity, here’s everything you need to know about shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction.
What is shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?
Shockwave therapy has been around for decades and has successfully treated medical issues involving soft tissue, sports injuries like tennis elbow and jumper’s knee, and other issues.
“Shockwave therapy has been used for decades to treat kidney stones,” says Sarasota, Florida-based urologist Dr. Tracy Gapin. “Studies show that when done at very low intensity, shockwave therapy can stimulate a process called angiogenesis, which is the creation of new blood vessels or new blood flow.”
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I bet you can already see where this is heading. As Dr. Laura Purdy, Wisp’s medical advisor and doctor at the Sexual Wellness Clinic, explains, this technology is useful for men who have problems with the vessels that carry blood in the body – which can be damaged. by a number of problems such as high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes.
“Shockwave therapy is non-surgical and non-invasive — and can be done with numbing cream applied for minimal or no discomfort,” Purdy says.
How long does shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction last?
The treatment protocol varies according to the needs of the patient, but the average duration of the treatment varies between 15 and 20 minutes.
“Typically, we do one treatment twice a week for three weeks, six treatments in total, then we take a month break to let it work, and then we do possibly another six treatments after that,” says Gapin. .
It is important to note that shockwave therapy is rarely used as the sole treatment for erectile dysfunction. Gapin says that in addition to shockwave therapy, he works with patients to address all other aspects of their health that could impact sexual function – from hormonal imbalances to correcting stress, gut microbiome and more.
“If you don’t address [these issues]then you won’t get the results,” he says.
For the duration of treatment, patients are encouraged to use a vacuum erection device or “penis pump”.
“Many clinics will use vacuum erection devices after the procedure for a period of time to promote blood flow to the area where the healing, remodeling and blood vessels are occurring,” Purdy explains.
Who is a candidate for shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?
Since shockwave therapy improves blood flow, the best candidates for shockwave therapy are men who suffer from erectile dysfunction due to problems with the functioning of their vascular system.
“Shockwave therapy is only for people with vasculogenic causes for their erectile dysfunction — something dysfunctional in their vessels that allows blood to flow in and out of the penis,” Purdy explains.
“It will not be an effective treatment for someone with psychogenic (stress-related) erectile dysfunction, drug-induced erectile dysfunction (as with antidepressants), or neurological erectile dysfunction (as with an injury to spinal cord).”
The duration of symptoms and the type of ED are also factors to consider.
“Men who have very mild erectile dysfunction or mild sexual performance issues are much more likely to respond than men who have severe erectile dysfunction,” Gapin says. He also notes that men who have had erectile dysfunction problems for a shorter duration often respond better to shockwave therapy than men who have had erectile dysfunction for longer.
What are the risks of shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?
If you are still on the fence about shockwave therapy, the overall risks involved are quite low.
“There is potential for bruising or trauma to the area, which is very rare,” Purdy says. “There may be some discomfort if inadequate anesthesia is used. However, many patients find that they can actually tolerate the procedure without anesthesia and with minimal pain.
There is also a potential risk that the treatment may not work – which is why it is important to discuss with a medical professional whether or not you are a candidate for shockwave therapy before treatment.
What is the success rate of shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?
A great deal of research indicates that shockwave therapy is, in fact, effective in treating erectile dysfunction when used on candidates with vascular problems. When it comes to success rates, Gapin stresses the importance of finding a shockwave therapy provider that addresses the patient as a whole to achieve the best results.
“It’s hard to give a specific number here on success because, unfortunately, there are plenty of clinics that treat anyone who’s willing to give a credit card,” says Gapin.
If you’re interested in shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, it’s important to find a provider who will not only do their due diligence in reviewing your medical history to determine treatment eligibility, but who will offer treatment at- beyond shockwave therapy for best results.
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“We see success rates over 80% because we carefully select patients who would be suitable candidates,” says Gapin. “We also emphasize that we only get these results because we treat the human as a whole – understanding that a human has multiple other systems at play, which can affect their performance.”
Although shockwave therapy can be an effective treatment for good candidates, it is important to rule out any potential larger medical issues with your doctor first. Erectile dysfunction can often be a symptom of something else going on in the body that needs to be addressed, so making an appointment with your doctor should be your first step.
How much does shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction cost?
Currently, shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction is not covered by insurance in the United States. Depending on where you live, shockwave therapy treatments can cost around $400 to $500 per session, with many providers offering discounts on packages and offering payment plans to help make the treatment more accessible. .
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