Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction: does it work? (2023)

Shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction: does it work? (1)Share on Pinterest

Shockwave therapy is one of many treatment optionserectile dysfunction (ED). While not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is science behind ittreatment without pillsis supported by severalstudieswhich gave encouraging results.

Shockwave therapy seems to work best for people with vascular erectile dysfunction, which is a blood vessel disorder that affects the blood supply to penile tissue. The effectiveness of treating other causes of erectile dysfunction remains to be seen.

The clinical term for shockwave therapy is Low Intensity Shockwave Therapy (LiSWT). It is a non-invasive therapy that has been used for years in orthopedics to heal broken bones, damaged ligaments and tendons.

LiSWT is also used to improve wound healing. Using targeted high-energy sound waves, LiSWT can accelerate tissue repair and cell growth.

An erection relies on healthy blood flow to the penile tissue. Shockwave therapy is considered a good way to repair and strengthen the blood vessels in the penis and improve blood flow.

Increasing blood flow to the penis is the same goal as more traditional erectile dysfunction treatments such asoral medications, includingsyldenafil (viagra)Itadalafil (Cialis).

Shockwave therapy is performed using a wand-like device that is placed near different areas of the penis. The healthcare professional moves the device over parts of the penis for about 15 minutes while the device emits gentle pulses. No anesthesia is required.

The pulses cause better blood flow and tissue remodeling in the penis. Both of these changes can lead to an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.

There are currently no established recommendations regarding the duration or frequency of treatment.

But2019 review and meta-analysisclinical trials showed that the most common treatment plan was twice a week for 3 weeks, followed by 3 weeks of no treatment and another 3 weeks of treatment twice a week.

The analysis showed that the effects of shockwave therapy lasted for about a year.

As with other types of off-label medical devices, it is not yet clear who is best suited for shockwave therapy. In theory, anyone with chronic ED could be a candidatecurrent researchstates that it may be best for vascular erectile dysfunction.

However, research on this is mixed. ANDNarrative Review 2021found that while some studies show that LiSWT is more effective in cases of mild ED when used in conjunction with other treatments, others have shown the opposite, where Shockwave Therapy works best for moderate to severe ED.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for this ED treatment is to talk to your doctor about your situation, especially if you have not had success with other treatments.

The same 2019 review and meta-analysis found that erectile function improved significantly with shockwave therapy. The results were best among men with vascular erectile dysfunction.

A2010 pilot studyfound that among 20 men with vascular erectile dysfunction, all experienced improved erectile function after 6 months of shockwave treatment. Monitoring the men showed no side effects.

Despite these encouraging studies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved shockwave therapy as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Some physicians may still offer shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, but use outside of a research setting is considered unspecified.

FDA approvals for new treatments are always accompanied by guidelines for physicians to follow and side effects to be shared with patients.

As with any unapproved treatment, if you opt for shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, there may be risks that are not well explained, or you may be spending money on treatment that does not live up to its promises.

In addition, treatment not approved by the FDA is usually not covered by insurance.

According to a statement from the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA), there is not enough "solid clinical trial data" to support widespread clinical use of shockwave therapy. SMSNA recommends that shockwave therapy be performed only under strict research protocols.

Shockwave therapy is painless for most men. And as previously noted, available studies have shown few, if any, side effects.

However, this does not mean that the procedure is safe. This is still a relatively new therapy and more research needs to be done to determine side effects, complications, and long-term effectiveness.

Occasional episodes of erectile dysfunction are normal. Stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, or temporary hormonal changes, among others, can make it difficult to maintain an erection. However, if erectile dysfunction becomes more frequent and affects your sex life, see your doctor.

If you are interested in shockwave therapy, know that it is still an experimental therapy. Some doctors are reluctant to use it until further research confirms its safety and effectiveness.

However, if you are looking for pill-free treatment and are not interested in invasive procedures, talk to your urologist about shockwave therapy and where such treatment may be available in your area.

Keep in mind that your doctor may also recommend that you try a more common treatment first. Common treatments for erectile dysfunction include:

  • Medicines. soswitch onsildenafil(Viagra) andtadalafil(Cialis).
  • Lifestyle changes.Quitting smoking, changing your diet, and getting the right amount of exercise can help you fight erectile dysfunction.
  • Consultation.If mental problems such asBow,stressor relationship issues are causing erectile dysfunction, talking to a therapist or counselor may help.
  • Treatment of underlying diseases.Health conditions egheart disease,high blood pressure, Idiabetescan contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Since shockwave therapy is considered a non-FDA-approved treatment for erectile dysfunction, medical insurance is unlikely to cover this procedure. The exact costs may vary depending on the provider and location, with an average of approx$450 per session.

Therefore, if your doctor prescribes a twice-weekly regimen for 3 weeks, the costs could potentially be around $2,700.

However, you may be able to work with your provider to keep treatment costs down. Possible options include discounted bundle prices or monthly payment plans.

How can I make an appointment for Shockwave Therapy?

If you are interested in making an appointment for shockwave therapy, consider making an appointment with the urologist performing the procedure, ask for a referral from your primary care physician, or find a reputable specialist in your field byAmerican Urological Association.Beware of unlicensed clinicians offering "discount" sessions or other clinics that may not be properly authenticated.

Does shockwave therapy hurt?

While ED Shockwave Therapy is said to be risk-free, there is not enough clinical research in the field to determine if this is the case.Studiesshow that shockwave therapy can be painless for other purposes and can even be a non-invasive method of reducing postoperative pain.

What is the success rate of shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction?

While the exact success rate is unknown,Research from 2016of 50 people who received LiSWT, it was estimated that up to 60 percent of participants experienced benefits lasting up to 12 months. Please note that shockwave therapy has not yet been approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and more research is needed to understand its full potential effectiveness.

Desire forerectile dysfunction treatmentwhich works consistently and for a long time, stimulating research around the world.

Shockwave therapy has been shown to be effective in treating certain conditions. While not currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, some doctors use it to treat erectile dysfunction off-label.

If you are interested in shockwave therapy, talk to your doctor first. They can help you decide if this is an option for you and possibly refer you to a reputable provider.

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