Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual condition that affects a person’s ability to achieve erections.
Despite several ways to treat ED, research on more effective and long-lasting remedies is ongoing.
Shock wave therapy is an emerging alternative treatment for ED. While most ED remedies provide temporary relief, shock wave therapy may have long-term benefits.
It may be best for people who do not respond to medication or have vasculogenic ED.
This article discusses the working, side effects, and effectiveness of shock wave therapy for ED.
Table of Contents
What is shock wave therapy for ED
Shock wave therapy is a non-invasive form of alternative treatment. The clinical term for shock wave therapy is Low-intensity Shock Wave Therapy (LiSWT).
LiSWT is an orthopedic treatment that helps treat injured bones, ligaments, and tendons. It can also help heal wounds.
LiSWT uses targeted high-energy sound waves to speed up cell growth and tissue repair.
In recent times, shock wave therapy has been used for Erectile Dysfunction. Erections result from healthy blood flow to the tissues in the penis.
Shock wave therapy may help repair and strengthen blood vessels. As a result, it can help enhance blood flow.
Non-invasive treatments are procedures that do not include the use of devices that break the skin or physically enter the body.
How does shock wave therapy work for Erectile Dysfunction
Shock wave therapy works by administering a wand-like device near different parts of the penis.
A doctor moves the device around your penis for about 15 minutes, which emits gentle pulses.
The pulses subject the penis to high-frequency sound waves. This helps promote blood vessel growth. It may also help break down plaque buildup in existing blood vessels.
These processes help increase blood flow in the penis and produce erections.
How long does shock wave therapy for ED last
Though individual results vary, the effects of shock wave therapy may last for about a year.
Most Erectile Dysfunction treatments, like medicines, temporarily increase blood flow to the penis.
Although the medicines are effective, they only last a few hours. Shock wave therapy, alternatively, aims to help restore erectile function for an extended period.
It intends to allow ED patients to achieve spontaneous and natural erections whenever they feel aroused.
There are no set standards for the number of LiSWT sessions for ED.
Clinical trials suggest three bi-weekly sessions, three weeks without treatment, and another three weeks of treatments.
The analysis of these clinical trials discovered that shock wave therapy might be effective for a year.
Also read: Acoustic Wave Therapy for ED: Everything You Need to Know
Risks and side effects
Shock wave therapy as an ED treatment is still under investigation and experimentation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved LiSWT for treating ED.
Shock wave therapy may have side effects, which include:
- Penile bruising
- Bloody urine
- Painful erections
- Infection in the penis
- Pain or discomfort during sexual activity
Is shock wave therapy effective
Shock wave therapy seems promising but does not have FDA approval for treating ED. Some studies investigating the effects of shock wave therapy led to favorable results.
A 2017 review analyzed 14 studies, including 833 men with ED. The analysis found that the participants experienced significant improvement in their erectile function after LiSWT.
According to studies, people with mild to moderate ED experienced the most significant benefits from shock wave therapy.
Another meta-analysis also noted the positive effects of shock wave therapy for ED.
Thus, research suggests that shock wave therapy may be a beneficial treatment for ED. It may especially work for people with mild to moderate Erectile Dysfunction.
Yet, it is essential to note that shock wave therapy is a new and experimental treatment for ED.
Although studies yield positive results, long-term research on its effects is still lacking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does shock wave therapy work for Erectile Dysfunction?
According to studies, shock wave therapy can help improve the response to oral medications for ED. It may also increase blood flow to the penis.
What is the success rate for shock wave therapy for ED?
The exact success rate for shock wave therapy is unknown. But a study on LiSWT with 50 people showed a success rate of 60 percent.
The participants experienced the benefits of shock wave therapy for over 12 months. Regardless, shock wave therapy is not an FDA-approved treatment for ED.
How many sessions of shock wave therapy for ED?
The number of shock wave therapy sessions for ED depends on your particular case and expectations. Most patients require three weekly sessions.
Is shock wave therapy for ED permanent?
The results of shock wave therapy are not permanent. But one course of treatment may provide long-term benefits. It may eliminate the need for continuous ED treatment.
Is shock wave therapy for ED painful?
Shock wave therapy may cause discomfort, but most patients do not report experiencing pain. Patients apply a numbing gel before treatment to prevent pain.
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