There are several Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatments available today. Yet new ones keep on emerging all the time.
Wave therapy or shockwave therapy is one of the newer treatment options available.
You may note that wave therapy for ED is not FDA-approved and is available mainly in clinical trials.
Yet several studies support the science behind this treatment.
Let us discuss more about this wave therapy for ED and its alternatives.
Table of Contents
What is wave therapy
You may know wave therapy by several names, including shock wave, acoustic, or sound wave therapy for ED.
The medical term for wave therapy for ED is Low-intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (Li ESWT).
Orthopedics have used this non-invasive therapy to help treat injured ligaments, injured tendons, and broken bones for a long time.
Wave therapy may help treat vasculogenic ED.
Erections mainly rely on healthy blood flow to the penis. The therapy may help to renew and strengthen the blood vessels in the penile region to improve blood flow.
Other ED treatments, such as oral medications like Viagra and Cialis, also rely on increasing blood flow to treat ED. Thus, wave therapy may also be an effective treatment.
The working of wave therapy for ED
Li ESWT for ED involves using a wand-like device near the penile region. A medical professional moves the device along different parts of the penis.
They may use the device for about 15 to 20 minutes while it emits gentle pulses. Therapy may involve using a gel as an interface to conduct shock pulses.
However, research is yet to determine a suitable period and frequency for the treatment.
A pilot study shows that Li ESWT therapy twice a week for three weeks may work well for patients with Vasculogenic ED.
Then three weeks without therapy, followed by another three weeks of twice-weekly treatment.
Research on wave therapy for ED
A systematic review suggests that Li ESWT may significantly improve erectile function in people with Vasculogenic ED.
Another study on 710 people with ED shows that Li ESWT may improve erection quality significantly.
Each participant received 20 minutes sessions five times a week.
The research on the use of Wave therapy for ED is promising. Yet the FDA did not approve the use of Li ESWT for ED.
Risk and side effects of wave therapy
When the FDA approves a new treatment, it provides a set of guidelines and side effects related to it.
Since Li ESWT is not an FDA-approved treatment, there is insufficient information on its side effects.
It may pose a higher risk of side effects for the same reason. Side effects of wave therapy for ED may include:
- blood in urine
- bruising of penile skin
- painful erection
- penile skin infection
- pain or difficulty during sexual intercourse due to the above
You should note that this list does not contain all possible side effects of Shockwave Therapy for ED. Seek medical help if you develop any side effects or have problems.
Moreover, insurance usually does not cover the cost of treatments without FDA approval.
So talk to your doctor if you are considering wave therapy for ED to determine if it suits you.
Wave therapy or shockwave therapy shows promising results for the treatment of ED. Yet it does not have FDA approval.
Using wave therapy may have a higher risk of side effects. You may consider using alternate ED treatments for your erection problems.
Other treatment options may include oral medications, surgeries, or injection therapy for ED. Doctors may prescribe these treatments along with lifestyle changes for an effective treatment.
Some commonly available oral ED medications include Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil, and Avanafil.
They are all FDA-approved medications for treating erection problems in males. They are available in the form of oral tablets.
Ask a doctor about these medicines if you have erection problems. They may prescribe a suitable dosage of one of these medicines, usually one pill a day.
Your doctor may suggest surgery if other treatments, such as oral medications, are not working for you.
Surgery may involve penile implants, which work in most cases but have a higher risk of side effects such as infection.
Injection therapy may be effective for many erectile issues.
The therapy involves using a small needle and syringe to inject the medicine. A person may inject the medication directly into the side of the penis.
Common side effects of injection therapy for ED may include pain and penile scarring.
Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and sleep, and avoiding alcohol or drugs to improve erectile function.
Such changes may be enough to regain erectile function in mild cases of ED. Doctors recommend these lifestyle changes along with other treatments to improve their efficacy.
Newer treatments for Erectile Dysfunction in males are always in the making.
Li ESWT, or wave therapy for ED, is a recent discovery. Like other ED treatments, it aims to improve blood flow to the penis to treat erection problems.
Research shows promising results on the efficacy of wave therapy for ED. Yet, the treatment did not receive FDA approval.
This suggests wave therapy may have a higher risk of potential side effects.
You can consider other treatment options such as oral medicines, surgery, and injection therapy for ED. Doctors may suggest these treatments along with lifestyle changes.
Talk to your doctor to determine which treatment is suitable for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does wave therapy for ED last?
There is insufficient data to say how long the effects of wave therapy for ED last.
How long does it take for shock wave therapy to work for ED?
Individual results of studies on wave therapy can vary. According to the University of Utah, wave therapy may take one to three months to work.
Is Wave Therapy Painful?
Wave therapy is usually painless, but you may experience some discomfort while receiving the therapy.
What is the success rate of shock wave therapy?
Most studies show that shock wave therapy may be an effective treatment for ED. Results of a 2020 study show the effectiveness of Shockwave therapy in 63.5% of men.
How much does wave therapy cost for ED?
As per the University of Utah, a wave therapy regimen may include six separate treatments, varying from case to case. Each treatment in the regimen may cause $400 to $500.
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