Here, we address multiple questions about the use of Acoustic Wave Therapy for erectile dysfunction. We will outline what acoustic wave therapy is, what it is used for, what its specific mode of action is, and whether it is a suitable treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects a large percentage of the male population in the United States. A landmark study was done in 1994; the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. This study is often cited by experts in the field and it estimated that approximately 52 percent of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction. It also found that erectile dysfunction increases from about 5 to 15 percent between the ages of 40 and 70. A later study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that around 26 percent of men under the age of 40 were affected by erectile dysfunction.
What the above data shows is that erectile dysfunction is a problem experienced by a large segment of the population. Due to this, treatments for the condition are in large demand. Up until recently, the options for guys with this condition were either pills, injections, or invasive implant surgery. In 2016, the FDA cleared a new form of erectile dysfunction treatment called ‘low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy’, or ‘acoustic wave therapy’, which has been successfully used for years in Europe and Asia to treat ED problems at the root cause.
What Is Acoustic Wave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction?
Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) works by eliminating congestion in the blood vessels that feed the penis and pelvic area. Secondarily, AWT produces some minor intentional inflammation in the underlying soft tissue (which isn’t felt by the patient), which triggers the body’s natural healing response to ‘send more blood’. As that new blood flow arrives, new blood vessels form, a process known as neovascularization. These new blood vessels wake up dormant nerve endings, resulting in better sexual stimulation and more intense orgasms.
Perhaps most importantly, this therapy addresses the root cause of ED, rather than just trying to overcome the symptoms. AWT is pain-free, something that neither penile injections nor penile implant surgery can offer. Additionally, it is the only treatment that shows significant long-term benefits in erectile function and sexual health.
Once a doctor determines that a patient is likely to benefit from AWT, a recommended treatment plan is prescribed, consisting of short, in-office treatments over the course of a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the severity of the patient’s ED issues. Because erectile dysfunction is mostly due to a lack of blood flow, the formation of more blood vessels plus the opening up of existing arteries allows for a greater volume of blood to enter the penis, causing more easily attainable and firmer erections, leading to improvements in sexual stamina and sexual satisfaction. It is the only current therapy that offers long-term benefits without side-effects, downtime, or pain, and at a completely affordable price.
A meta-analysis in the Journal ‘European Urology’ collected 14 studies on the subject from 2005 to 2015. These studies widely ranged in the specific techniques used, duration of the shockwaves, the intensity of the shockwaves, and the length of treatment. However, despite the variation in methodology, statistical analysis demonstrated that there was a significant improvement in erectile dysfunction following low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Furthermore, a 2016 study showed that patients who suffer a specific form of erectile dysfunction, which is unresponsive to phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, (e.g. Viagra ™ or Cialis ™, common erectile dysfunction therapies), shows significant improvement following low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy. This further shows how wide-ranging the positive side-effects of the therapy are.
Additionally, a study done in 2015 by the University of Queensland showed that acoustic sound wave therapy is likely to help with penile rehabilitation in men who failed medical therapy (Viagra™ or Cialis™) for erectile dysfunction.
Finally, numerous other scientific, peer-reviewed studies, published by a range of organizations such as the European Association of Urology, Rambam Medical Centre, and the Journal of Sexual Medicine, fully support these consistent results.
The FDA has only recently approved the therapy in the US, but it has been utilized in Europe and Asia for over a decade. Due to this, there is a growing amount of literature exploring this method, with an overwhelming majority of it showing that low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy is both extremely effective and devoid of side-effects. It has been thoroughly recommended for erectile dysfunction.