There are several ways to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Shockwave therapy could serve as a long-term treatment for underlying physical causes of ED.
Aside from penile implants and lifestyle changes, techniques that include medication and injections represent on-demand treatment options. Shockwave therapy could be an alternative.
According to Medicalnewstoday, inadequate blood supply to the male genital is a common underlying cause of ED, known as vasculogenic ED. Shockwave therapy may work best for people with this condition, as experts believe it increases blood supply.
Risks and side effects
Currently, shockwave therapy for ED does not have approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means it is presently still seen as an investigational or experimental treatment.
Side effects of shockwave therapy for ED may include:
1. bruising of genital skin
2. blood in urine
3. genital skin infection
4. painful genital stretching
5. pain or difficulty during intercourse, due to the above.
A 2019 review of clinical studies reports positive initial results from shockwave therapy, with a good safety record and an improvement in erectile function. However, more research is needed to determine the best treatment practices.
Where to get treatment
As the technique is yet to gain FDA approval, there is no standard treatment for shockwave therapy for ED.
It is currently only available as part of a clinical trial, which means treatments should only take place in research settings.
People can research providers to see if they offer experimental shockwave therapy for ED.
As part of their own research, people may wish to take the following steps before they decide to undergo shockwave therapy:
1. Consulting with a primary care doctor before they decide on a treatment option.
2. Talking with a urologist for further information. Urologists are doctors who specialize in urinary and reproductive health.
3. Finding out about the experience, knowledge, and background of the practitioner providing ED treatment.
4. Checking practitioners use a recognized shockwave machine, as some devices may not deliver effective levels of energy.
5. Researching the total cost of treatment beforehand, and research the legitimacy of any high-cost therapies.
People should also note that as the technique does not have FDA approval, they will need to cover the cost of treatments themselves, unless they are part of a research study.
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