Doctor, is this treatment for erectile dysfunction painful?
Will my penis get electrocuted by the shockwave?
These are the common questions that I get from
clients when I suggest shockwave therapy as a means of treatment.
So, how does it actually work?
Can it treat or cure erectile dysfunction?
Read on for answers.
How does ESWT work?
The shock wave is actually an acoustic wave or sound wave that carries energy through a medium in a non-invasive manner.
When Li-ESWT is used on an organ it delivers energy via its acoustic wave to that tissue resulting in a cascade of biological reactions including the release of growth factors resulting in neovascularization i.e., growth and improvement in blood supply. Many contemporary prospective studies (see below) have shown improvement in International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Erection Hardness Score (EHS) resulting from Li-ESWT.
So, in short, shockwave therapy
- Promote angio-genesis (development of new blood vessels) in the penis which means that the blood flow to the penis increases and hence stronger erections are achieved.
- Rejuvenate the endothelium and penis smooth muscle by inducing the body to repair the endothelium and smooth muscle in the penis and thus improve the blood circulation to that area
- Can possibly improve the functioning of the penile nerves if these have been damaged following a radical prostatectomy or because of diabetes.
Has there been any studies conducted?
One systematic review published in 2017 looked at 14 studies involving 833 men with erectile dysfunction. Although the studies varied in focus, all involved men with erectile dysfunction who were treated using low-intensity shockwave therapy.
The review concluded that shockwave therapy caused a significant improvement in men’s erectile health.
While shockwave therapy caused a significant improvement overall, the biggest improvement was observed in men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.
A different meta-analysis, also published in 2017, looked at data from seven clinical trials with more than 600 participants. It also concluded that shockwave therapy produced a significant improvement in erectile function compared to a non-therapeutic treatment.
What other ailments can ESWT be used for?
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is a common disease in males which is characterized by persistent discomfort or pain in the pelvic region.
In recent years, many reports are seen on the extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for CP/CPPS. ESWT can significantly improve the symptoms of pelvic pain and urination disorders in CPPS patients, and its therapeutic effect is attributed to the improvement of angiogenesis and block of pain nerves.
It also improves prostate blood flow and reduces prostate inflammation.
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is a condition that causes a curvature in the penis. The curve or bend is caused by a build-up of fibrous tissue called plaques on the penis shaft.
PD can lead to pain and erectile dysfunction.
Many studies have shown improvement of penile curvature, reduction of pain and plaquesizeand improvement of sexual function after ESWT.
So, can ESWT cure erectile dysfunction?
It is difficult to absolutely say that it can as more research and studies need to be done to determine this.
However, existing studies show encouraging results thus far.
If you would like to learn more about ESWT and what it can do for you,
drop by for a friendly chat with our doctors.