- Shock Wave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease
Shock Wave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction and Peyronie’s Disease
Aside from medication and lifestyle changes, techniques that include injections represent on-demand treatment options. Shock wave therapy could be an alternative.
Inadequate blood supply to the penis is a common underlying cause of ED, known as vasculogenic ED. Shock wave therapy may work best for people with this condition, as experts believe it increases blood supply.
Underlying causes for Peyronie’s disease, in its turn, are not certain, however, shock wave therapy works to eliminate the consequences of this disorder by breaking the plaques within the pen is and bringing relief.
Keep reading to learn more about how shockwave therapy for ED and PD works, its potential risks and side effects.
What is shock wave therapy?
Shockwave therapy is an alternative, non-invasive treatment for ED and PD. It is a fairly recent technique that has emerged over the last decade.
Practitioners may refer to shockwave therapy for ED and PD as low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave treatment (LI-ESWT).
How does it work?
LI-ESWT for ED and PD works by applying low-intensity shock waves to the penis. A practitioner uses a handheld probe to administer these. A gel is used as an interface to conduct the shock pulses.
People do not usually need an anesthetic, but they may experience a tingling sensation in the treatment area.
A practitioner will apply a set amount of shocks per minute, for a fixed amount of time. A session may last 15–20 minutes, and people may require repeat treatments.
The energy from shock wave therapy stimulates new blood vessel growth through a process called angiogenesis. This increases penile blood flow, which may improve erectile function and break the plaques.
LI-ESWT may also improve the effectiveness of PDE5 inhibitors, which are oral drugs to treat ED.
A 2017 study looked at the effects of LI-ESWT on ED in 710 people. Each participant received five weekly 20-minute sessions. Some also had additional drug treatments for ED.
The study results showed LI-ESWT caused a significant improvement in erection quality in people with and without additional medication.
A month after the sessions, there was a decrease in improvement. The researchers suggest that a longer treatment duration may provide better and longer-lasting results.
Risks and side effects
Side effects of shockwave therapy for ED may include:
- bruising of penile skin;
- painful erection;
- pain or difficulty during sexual intercourse, due to the above.
However, these side effects are occasional and depend on the individual reaction of a certain patient to the treatment. They may occur just temporarily during the term of the treatment.
People may wish to take the following steps before they decide to undergo shockwave therapy:
- Consulting with a primary care doctor before they decide on a treatment option.
- Talking with a urologist for further information. Urologists are doctors who specialize in urinary and reproductive health.
- Finding out about the experience, knowledge, and background of the practitioner providing ED treatment.
- Checking practitioners use a recognized shockwave machine, as some devices may not deliver effective levels of energy.
- Researching the total cost of treatment beforehand, and research the legitimacy of any high-cost therapies.
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LI-ESWT is a new and non-invasive treatment for ED and PD.
Shock Wave Therapy Found Safe, Effective for Erectile Dysfunction
Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (Li-ESWT) is safe and effective for improving mild-to-moderate vasculogenic erectile dysfunction (ED), new data suggest.
Therapeutic success is especially pronounced among young patients with a short duration of ED and no associated comorbidities.
A team of researchers has studied 425 patients with vasculogenic ED, all of whom underwent Li-ESWT with the PiezoWave2 device. They assessed ED using the Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM) score.
The SHIM includes 5 questions each having 5 possible responses scored from 1 to 5. Answer scores from the 5 questions are added to arrive at a total score, with 25 the highest attainable score. Higher scores indicate better erectile function. The investigators defined successful treatment as a 6-month SHIM score of 22 to 25 (no signs of ED). Successfully treated patients were followed up for 30 months.
The cohort had a baseline SHIM score of 11.8 (range 5 to 20). Six months following Li-ESWT, 220 patients (51.8%) reported satisfactory sexual intercourse, with a SHIM score of 22 to 25 without the use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5i) like Viagra or Cialis.
Shorter duration of ED, younger age, lower pretreatment SHIM score, and absence of smoking, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia were significantly associated with improved odds of Li-ESWT success, the scientists reported.
At the 30-month follow-up, 168 (76.3%) of the 220 men still reported satisfactory sexual intercourse, with a SHIM score of 22 to 25 without the use of PDE5i, according to the investigators.
All patients had 6 Li-ESWT sessions over 6 weeks. Patients received 6000 shocks at a frequency of 8 Hz at each session. Shock waves were delivered to 5 sites (dorsal surface, both sides, and both crus of the penis).
As part of first-line treatment, healthy men with mild-to-moderate ED should be educated about lifestyle modifications to improve erectile function, the authors noted. “Li-ESWT may be a treatment option in healthy patients with mild-to-moderate ED if lifestyle changes did not improve erectile function.”
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