Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is one of the most common ailments among men, particularly those over the age of 40. There are many factors that contribute to ED but the end product is always the same: frustration, embarrassment and loss of sexual enjoyment.
For years, doctors have been prescribing a variety of potential treatments, with varying degrees of success, and now a new finding has given ED sufferers renewed hope for a long term cure: shockwave therapy.
So what exactly is shockwave therapy and how can it help ED sufferers to conquer their symptoms?
In order to understand the how, you first have to know exactly what ED is. Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to get and maintain an erection. When this occurs, sexual intercourse is impossible and it can have a terrible physical and psychological effect on men and their partners.
cause of ED is abnormal blood flow in the penis. During sexual stimulation, the arteries in the penis widen,
increasing the flow of blood, which in turn results in an erection. When this flow of blood is restricted
for some reason, penile function becomes disrupted and getting and maintaining
an erection may be impossible.
For years, doctors have treated ED with medications such as Viagra, penile injections or the use of vacuum erection devices, all of which can provide temporary ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
The problem with these treatments is that because they are only temporary they must be taken on an as needed basis, soon before having sexual intercourse. Not surprisingly, this can be cumbersome and embarrassing and it doesn’t help to create the proper “mood” that most couples require for their sexual encounters.
Until very recently, there had been no real progress when it came to developing a more long term solution. That was until last year, when scientists made an accidental discovery that just may change the face of ED treatment.
This discovery involves a procedure known as shockwave therapy (one of the more popular ones is Gainswave). This is a well known procedure that has been used for years to treat a number of conditions including constrictions of the blood vessels in the heart, kidney stones, fractures and joint inflammation.
In shockwave therapy, energy from acoustic waves is used to trigger neovascularization, which is the formation of new blood vessels in order to stimulate blood flow. Now scientists have begun to investigate the possible link between shockwave therapy and erectile dysfunction, reasoning that the same effect that can improve blood flow to other parts of the body could also be used on the penis.
Early studies have had positive results, giving both scientists and ED sufferers much reason to feel encouraged. Because shockwave therapy treats the underlying cause of ED, restricted blood flow, rather than simply addressing the surface symptoms the way other treatments do, the effects of the treatment could be long reaching.
In the study that was conducted, patients were followed for a number of months post-treatment and have been found to still have normal sexual function without further treatment.
Aside from the long lasting effects, shockwave therapy is less invasive than the vacuum method or injections, and it has no real side effects aside from a slight tingling sensation during the treatment itself. Better still, by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels, shockwave therapy helps the body to heal itself, for a more natural solution.
While shockwave therapy has not been approved as a treatment for ED in most countries yet, it has begun to be looked at more seriously and clinical studies continue. If these studies produce positive results as well, then it may not be long before ED sufferers and their partners can finally get the long term relief they have been desperately seeking.