Do Penis Pumps Help With Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

Many men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), which is defined as difficulty achieving and/or maintaining an erection sufficient for sex. Many effective ED treatments are available ranging from oral prescription medications to penile implant surgery.

Key takeaways:
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    Vacuum erection devices (penis pumps) are an effective non-invasive treatment for erectile dysfunction with a low risk of serious side effects.
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    Unlike many ED treatments, penis pumps are effective for treating ED due to nerve damage.
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    Penis pumps can be used in combination with other ED treatments, such as oral medications or penile implants.

Vacuum erectile devices (VEDs) —or penis pumps—are an effective treatment for ED that does not involve medication or surgery. Here is what you need to know about penis pumps and how they can treat ED.

What are vacuum erectile devices?

Vacuum erectile devices (VEDs, also called vacuum constriction devices or penis pumps) are a treatment for ED that uses suction to allow blood to flow into the penis and produce an erection. A VED typically consists of a rigid tube that the penis is placed into, an electric or manual vacuum pump, and a compression ring or penis ring placed on the opening of the tube that fits over the erect penis. VEDs are medical devices, usually available by prescription only. VEDs are not used for penis enlargement.

To use a VED, first, apply lubricant to your penis and the opening of the tube, then place the pump over the penis. Using a vacuum pump, the air is pumped out of the tube holding the penis, creating a vacuum that causes blood to flow into the penis, producing an erection. Once the penis is erect, a penis ring is placed around the base of the penis to maintain the erection for up to 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of using a penis pump?

Penis pumps have several advantages over other types of ED treatment. Unlike medications, VEDs are effective for treating ED due to nerve damage or poor blood flow. VEDs are also a good option for men who cannot take oral ED medications due to medical conditions or interactions with other medications. They are non-invasive, making them preferable to surgical implants, injections into the penis, or suppositories that go into the urethra. They also have fewer possible side effects compared to medication or surgery. Additionally, VEDs can be used in combination with other ED treatments such as medication or penile implants.

What are the drawbacks of using a penis pump?

Compared to other ED treatments, VEDs have several significant drawbacks. VEDs can be bulky, making their use awkward for some people. VEDs are not difficult to use but may require some practice to achieve consistent results. They can also make spontaneous sex more difficult as they may require more than 5 minutes to achieve a full erection. Additionally, medical insurance does not always cover the full cost of a VED.

VED use can have several side effects, but these are minor compared to some other ED treatments. Constriction from the penis ring can prevent ejaculation and may make it more difficult to achieve orgasm. VEDs can sometimes cause bruising and some men experience discomfort from using a penis pump or penis ring. Additionally, when using a VED the penis may appear dark blue or purple and can be cold to the touch rather than warm. Some men experience numbness when using one. VEDs also should not be used by people taking any sort of anticoagulant medication (blood thinners) or those with certain blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease.

Is a penis pump right for you?

Penis pumps, or VEDs, are an effective treatment for ED. VEDs can be an ideal ED treatment for men who have ED caused by nerve damage or poor blood flow, those who cannot take oral ED medications, and men who prefer non-invasive ED treatments. VEDs have several drawbacks; they are not designed for spontaneous sex, they require some training or practice to use effectively, and they can be bulky and awkward. Overall, however, penis pumps are an excellent drug-free and non-invasive treatment for many types of ED that can be used along with other ED treatments. If you have ED and are interested in trying a medical penis pump you should talk to your doctor or other healthcare providers.

There are many options to treat ED, so it is important to understand the risks, benefits, and limitations of various ED treatments. What works for one person may not work for others. You may have to try several different treatments to find out what works for you.

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