Have You Heard of Shockwave Therapy for ED?

Couples, therapy, happiness, happy, relationship, ED

If you have erectile dysfunction, it’s easy to feel embarrassed and alone. But the fact is, ED is a lot more common than most men — and women — realize. In fact, mild to moderate erectile dysfunction affects roughly 10 percent of men per decade of age — which means about 30 percent of men in their 30s, 40 percent of men in their 40s, and so on. Complete erectile dysfunction, while less common, still affects about 5 percent of men at age 40, increasing to about 15 percent by age 70.

Today, medication for ED has proven very effective in treating the symptoms for many men. But it doesn’t work for everyone who has ED, and in some cases, health issues may mean medicine just isn’t an option. Fortunately, researchers have been investigating a novel treatment for ED that uses sound energy to reduce symptoms and improve function. It’s called shockwave therapy — and despite its somewhat startling name, it’s completely safe. Here’s how it works.

Causes of ED

To understand how shockwave therapy works, it helps to know what causes ED in the first place. The process of getting an erection is very complex, involving lots of processes and relying on an array of complicating factors. It’s no surprise, then, that when it comes to ED, many issues can cause or contribute to the problem. Underlying diseases and medical conditions, certain types of medications, and even psychological factors like stress and relationship problems can all play a role. A problem in any one of these areas can cause partial or even complete inability to obtain and maintain an erection.

One of the primary causes of ED is a buildup of plaque inside the blood vessels that supply the penis with blood. Healthy blood flow is always essential for any organ to function the way it should, and during an erection, blood flow to the penis is especially critical. In order for an erection to occur, the penis must be able to fill with blood. That means the arteries inside the penis must widen or dilate to allow extra blood to flow into the penis. It’s that extra blood that allows the penis to become and remain firm. In addition to plaque in the vessels, many men lose some of their nerve sensitivity or they simply aren’t naturally as sensitive as necessary for an erection to occur. Shockwave therapy is designed to be beneficial in both of these instances.

The science behind shockwave therapy

Shockwave therapy isn’t new. High-intensity shockwave therapy is used to break apart kidney stones, while medium-intensity waves are used in the treatment of many types of orthopedic injuries, like tendonitis or bursitis. By contrast, ED therapy uses low-intensity waves; in fact, this type of therapy is sometimes referred to as low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy or LI-ESWT. 

Low-intensity shockwaves have been used for some time to promote healing of chronic wounds and to treat peripheral nerve problems and heart disease. In ED, LI-ESWT works in three important ways:

How effective is shockwave therapy for ED? In a review of nine studies published last year in the medical journal Urology, researchers found LI-ESWT has the potential to significantly improve both erectile function and penile hardness, without the need for medication. 

At Seskin Urology, Dr. Seskin performs shockwave therapy right in the office during an outpatient procedure. There’s no downtime, and there’s also no need for anesthesia. While some men may respond after a single treatment, others may benefit from more than one treatment. Dr. Seskin will be able to design a treatment plan specifically for your needs for optimal results.

If you're suffering from ED, shockwave therapy might be the solution you've been looking for. To learn more about shockwave therapy or to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Seskin, contact the practice today.

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