Is Shockwave Therapy Really a ‘Permanent’ Cure for ED?
While shockwave therapy might help some with ED, here is what the experts say.
While low-intensity shockwave therapy is one treatment that is available for erectile dysfunction, it may not be the best or safest one. According to the most recent evidence, the results are not permanent, and this is a treatment that has still not received FDA approval.
Shockwave Therapy as a “Cure” for ED?
Erectile dysfunction is a bothersome condition that affects half of all males between the ages of 40 and 70. If this is impacting your life, you no doubt would love to find a permanent solution.
Shockwave therapy isn’t a new treatment in medical circles. It’s been used for 30 years to treat kidney stones. The concept for the therapy came from heart medicine, with its use in the prevention of angina pectoris.
Erections are all about blood flow, and this can be constrained when there are damaged, weakened, or obstructed blood vessels in the penis. Also called Acoustic Wave Therapy, the procedure uses a high-frequency, low-intensity pulse wave that encourages the development of new, healthy blood vessels.
Unfortunately, shockwave therapy isn’t a “cure” for ED. While it might be a viable solution for men that can’t take medication like Viagra, some of the information about the procedure can be deceiving. Many of the “news” stories saying shockwave therapy is a permanent solution to ED are sponsored content and not objective.
What Do the Experts Say?
While some providers want you to believe that this is a miracle cure for ED, the experts are saying something much different. In 2018, researchers from the Sheba Medical Center in Israel released the results of a 2-year study on the effectiveness of low-intensity penile shockwave treatment.
The study revealed that the benefits of the procedure were still maintained in just 53.5% of the patients after two years. In patients with diabetes who also have severe ED, the benefit was lost in 100% after two years.
In March of 2019, the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) released a position statement as a warning to men about seeking non-FDA-approved treatment for ED. One of the “unproven” treatment that it listed was shockwave therapy.
The SMSNA believes that this type of treatment requires further study, which is something that is currently taking place. There is an ongoing study and clinical trial at the University of Miami titled “Safety and Efficacy of Low Intensity Shockwave for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.”
Is Shockwave Therapy Expensive?
Shockwave therapy isn’t cheap, and it’s important to remember that you’re paying for treatment that isn’t approved by the FDA. Patients are required to attend a series of sessions, sometimes six or more, and the cost can be upwards of $3,000.
Choose an FDA-Approved Treatment Instead
Some of the non-FDA-approved treatments for ED include shockwave therapy, stem cell treatment, and platelet-rich plasma injections. These are unproven treatments and should be approached at your own risk.
The treatments for ED that have been approved by the FDA, so are considered safe and effective, include penile injections, penile prosthetics, vacuum erection devices, and oral medications (such as Viagra). When you seek treatment for ED, do your homework so that you get the safest, most effective, and convenient treatment for your situation.
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