If there is one fear every active man has, it is erectile dysfunction (ED). No man wants to be unable to perform when necessary. But unfortunately, more men are suffering from it, and not everyone knows how to handle it. There are several treatment options for erectile dysfunction, and one of them is shockwave therapy.
Shockwave therapy is a device that quickly relieves pain and restores mobility in different parts of the body. It is useful in medical areas such as urology, orthopedics, sports medicine, veterinary medicine, and physiotherapy. It is effective in treating kidney problems, fractures, cardiovascular conditions, and inflammation in the joints.
In simple terms, the device triggers acoustic waves that carry high energy and transport it to necessary parts of the body. These parts are usually fraught with chronic, subchronic, subacute, and painful conditions. As the high energy gets to the spots, it encourages reparative and regenerative processes, and over time, these sore spots become better.
Erectile Dysfunction and Shockwave Therapy
For a man’s penis to become erect, blood has to flow through the arteries in that part of the body. The arteries become wider to accommodate more blood, creating the turgidity that makes penetration easy. In other words, a successful erection depends on the blood flow to the penis. But when there is a problem with the penile blood flow, erection becomes difficult.
Although shockwave therapy has been used for other conditions and is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recent studies have shown that the treatment also works for erectile dysfunction. The studies prove that it is ideal for treating vasculogenic erectile dysfunction, which is a specific form of ED. Research is still ongoing to see whether or not it works for other forms of ED.
What shockwave therapy does is repair and strengthen damaged and weak penile blood vessels to improve the flow of blood to the area. The therapy aims to increase blood flow to the penis as other more traditional treatments but tows a different path to the endpoint.
How the Therapy Works
Here is how the therapy works to treat ED:
It is a non-invasive procedure, so there is no need for anesthesia. The acoustic waves are administered into the affected body area through a device, like a wand, placed close to the penis. The specialist moves the device from one point to another on different parts of the penile area as the device emits a gentle pulse.
The pulses enter the penis and trigger the remodeling of tissue while improving the blood flow. Over time, the changes and repairs improve erections and make them sufficient for vaginal penetration. Currently, there is no established length of time for treatment or how often it should run.
However, a study shows that having treatments two times a week for three weeks and going another three weeks without treatment is highly effective. After the three weeks of no treatment, you should go another three weeks of treatments, two times per week. The same study discovered that the effects from the treatments wear off after about one year.
Downsides of Shockwave Therapy for ED
The lack of approval from the FDA means every treatment for ED using shockwave therapy is outside the books. If it is not done within an environment of research or research purposes, you may be wasting your time, especially if you do not have vasculogenic ED. Since it is not approved, there is no documented and established list of side effects.
There are other approved and well-known treatment methods to try, such as using Viagra, so you may want to consider them. If you decide to use this treatment method, you put yourself outside insurance coverage because no FDA approval equals no insurance coverage.
Other Treatment Methods for ED
Your urologist may not be keen on using shockwave therapy to treat erectile dysfunction. You may find they are more willing to go the traditional and more reliable route instead of an experimental method.
As mentioned above, there are a few traditional ways to handle ED, and they are usually pan-free. Try taking Cialis or Viagra as prescribed by your doctor because they effectively treat the problem. But if you are averse to popping pills, speak with your doctor for other methods.
More times than not, your lifestyle leads to erectile dysfunction. It is not always a product of a disease or injury. Your diet may be restricting the blood flow to the penile area. The same is true if you drink or smoke a lot. Also, check how well you sleep; an erratic sleep schedule will stress you out and may affect erection in the long run. In addition, try exercising more often; it may help prevent ED.
If a health condition is causing the dysfunction, your doctor should be the first to know. You may not be aware of the condition, so your doctor may want to run some tests. Do not rule anything out, as it may be the road to a permanent cure. Underlying conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems are likely to cause ED.
Consider counseling, especially if you have personal issues weighing on you. Psychological stress causes several issues, including ED. So, sessions with a counselor or therapist may go a long way in solving the problem.
Finally, understand that shockwave therapy for ED is relatively new. That means it has not undergone every test and trial to prove its effectiveness. It also means you cannot be sure of the long-term effects, possible complications, and side effects, even though most users report the treatment is pain-free.
Erectile dysfunction is becoming more common, and the need for an effective and lasting treatment method has triggered research. Although shockwave therapy has shown some promise in treating ED, it is not fully proven and approved, so it has to be done off the book.
Let your doctor know if you plan to undergo shockwave therapy for ED and get their professional advice. They may even know a specialist who will do an excellent job. However, if they are skeptical, it is best to try other treatment methods.