Prior to the launch of Viagra®, the little blue pill that revolutionized the treatment of ED, impotence vacuum pumps were one of the most popular and successful treatments available.
They remain the preferable option and the most viable alternative to the new impotence drugs for a large number of men.
For an erection to occur, blood vessels in the penis must be healthy and strong enough to dilate and allow for additional blood flow, which creates and maintains an erection before and during sexual intercourse. After ejaculation, the blood vessels gradually contract.
Choosing the right impotence treatment is as much a personal choice as it is a medical decision.
A recent medical study in Europe on 460 impotent males, ranging in age from 35 to 75, found that 43% of men over the age of 50 chose impotence vacuum pumps as their preferred option. The researchers found that the two main reasons for this choice were familiarity with the product and health issues with alternative medications.
The major health risks reported in the European study for avoiding other forms of ED treatment, particularly pills, were heart conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes. For most men suffering from any one of these conditions, the new oral medications such as Viagra®, Cialis® and Levitra® are simply NOT an option.
Mr G. Hausmann, 63, a participant in the survey, said:
"I have had diabetes since my mid 30's. My wife and I have used a vacuum pump for ED for many years and we are very happy with it because of the damage diabetes has done to my vascular system."
A number of medications prescribed for angina (chest pain) and high blood pressure contain nitrates, which can cause a severe reaction with chemicals used in the newer impotence drugs.
For long-term diabetics, impotence vacuum pumps are a safer alternative due to their non-invasive and drug-free application.
The pumps create an erection by using a plastic cylinder which is placed around the penis. A manual or electronic pump gradually withdraws the air from the cylinder, creating a vacuum and drawing blood into the penis.
Once the penis is rigid, the cylinder is removed and an elasticized band (often referred to as a "tension ring") is applied to the base of the penis to prevent blood from flowing back into the body and to maintain the erection during intercourse.
The diagram on the right clearly demonstrates how an impotence vacuum pump works.
A note of caution: the tension ring should never be left on for more than 30 minutes.
You can find them at various online retailers but for the widest selection and the best prices check out MedEx Supply, as they have all of the top brands at various price levels so you can find one that will fit your budget.
Take a look at their offerings, which include Encore, Timm Medical and Augusta, and you'll definitely find one that's right for you.