Unmasking Men’s Sexual Wellness: A Look at Erectile Dysfunction and Innovative Solutions

Unmasking Men’s Sexual Wellness: A Look at Erectile Dysfunction and Innovative Solutions

By: Dr. Paul Gittens

Always consult your doctor for direct, specific, and the personal medical advice you may need.

Men don’t usually give much thought to their penis or their sexual health until there is a problem. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common issue that men face, yet the stigma surrounding it often stops them from seeking medical help. As one of the country’s leading specialists in sexual function for men and women, and a board-certified urologist, I hope to shed some light on ED, delving into the causes and presenting innovative solutions that I use to provide results for my patients.

 

The Factors that May Contribute to Erectile Dysfunction:

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects 30 million men in the United States. Men are more likely to develop ED as they age but males in their early twenties and thirties can also have this problem. A variety of factors can affect erectile function such as having certain diseases or conditions, medications, hormonal abnormalities, health-related factors such as being overweight and participating in heavy drinking or smokingThere is “no one size fits all solution” when deciding on a treatment for ED. I think of my role as a sexual medicine specialist, like an NFL running back, evaluating where to run through a gap in the line. I perform a thorough one hour evaluation with all my patients that consists of their medical history, attempting to find all factors which may be contributing to their ED. I then order a full hormonal panel and imaging of the penis for evaluation. After this is complete, I make recommendations on which treatment options would be the most successful for their condition. Treatment options will help increase blood flow to the penis, keeping blood flow from leaving the penis and adding growth factors to aid in rehabilitation.

Many times, traditional treatments like oral medication, counseling and lifestyle changes can fix the problem. However, the landscape of solutions has expanded, with various options like penis pumps, penile implants, shock wave therapy and even Botox, which I mention in the article, but restorative options expand even beyond these.

 

One Option: An Innovation Approach to ED and Penile Exercise

Penis pumps have gained popularity as non-invasive devices designed to address erectile dysfunction. These devices utilize a vacuum technique to draw blood into the penis.  Penis pumps are readily available and easy to use and can help with ED without resorting to more invasive intervention. There is also the Xersizer, a hydro pump, a variation on the tradition pump. The hydro pump is used in the shower or bath and uses hydropower to create negative pressure inside the vessel allowing maximal expansion of the penis. Recommended use is between 3-5 times per week. While the hydro pump can be used like a conventional pump for sexual spontaneity (depending on the user’s needs), the main intention of the hydro pump is as a private training aid.

This device has shown promise when used regularly to promote flow to penis, contributing to improved erectile function.

 

CoreWave Therapy: Paving the Way to Non-Invasive Solutions to ED

In recent years, shock wave therapy has emerged as a non-invasive alternative for treating ED. This innovative approach utilizes low-intensity shock waves to stimulate blood vessel growth in the penis. This therapy aims to address the root cause of ED by enhancing blood flow and promoting tissue regeneration. CoreWave™ is provide by urologists and physicians that focus on sexual wellness.

CoreWave™ therapy is a focused low intensity shockwave therapy, a surgery-free and medication-free solution that focuses wave energy painlessly to the penis. It is used off label and not FDA approved for ED. CoreWave™ has its patent protocols and leads to harder and firmer erections. This therapy stimulates growth factors, aiding in the formation of the new blood vessels and promoting increased blood flow to the erection, leading to lasting results.

This therapy is administered with a wand-like device placed near different areas of the penis. A doctor moves the device along parts of the penis for about 30 minutes while it emits gently pulses. No anesthesia is needed and there is no pain. The pulses trigger improved blood flow and tissue remodeling in the penis. Both changes can lead to erections sufficient for sex. This therapy stimulates growth factors, aiding in the formation of the new blood vessels for lasting results. Many patients can reduce or stop prescription medications for ED after the procedure.

 

Botox Revolution, Moves Beyond Wrinkles:

Botox is also available to treat ED. It is not FDA approved for ED and is considered off-label as well. The penis as default is in a contracted state, it is not until a man is stimulated where the penis becomes relaxed and erect. Botox intervenes in the process and allows the muscles in the penis to become more relaxed thus facilitating improved blood flow and a more efficient, sustainable erection. Several studies have demonstrated that administrating Botox directly into the penis can provide a success rate of over 50% in achieving an erection for men with severe ED. Additionally, milder cases of ED tend to respond even more positively to this treatment.

One of the advantages of Botox for ED is there is no downtime. Most patients after obtaining Botox will notice a difference after about two weeks. In addition, men may also notice a more relaxed and elongated flaccid penis.

 

Penile Implants: Lasting Solutions for ED

We attempt to prevent men from obtaining penile implants, but for some it is the only option. Penile implants have a high level of satisfaction once they are placed. These devices are surgically implanted into the penis, proving the mechanical support necessary for achieving and maintaining an erection. Unlike other treatments for ED, a penile implant restores spontaneity and allows a man to get an erection without any planning or waiting.

The device is implanted during a procedure through a small opening in the skin. Most men return home from the procedure on the same day and can resume sexual activity upon his doctor’s clearance, typically between 4-6 weeks. The implantation procedure is minimally invasive, and advancements in technology have led to the development of inflatable implants that closely mimic the natural erectile process.  For some patients, when pills and injections no longer work, they move to a penile implant. For other patients, they may move to a penile implant right away

In conclusion, men’s sexual health is a complex and nuanced aspect of overall well-being that demands open conversation and exploration of diverse solutions. From traditional treatments to innovative devices like penis pumps, hydro pumps, penile implants, shock wave therapy and Botox, there exists a spectrum of options catering to individual needs and preferences. By dispelling myths and fostering a culture of understanding, we can pave the way for men to prioritize their sexual health, leading to more fulfilling and satisfying lives.  It’s time to embrace a comprehensive approach that encompasses the physical, psychological, and rational dimensions of men’s sexual well-being.

Always consult your doctor for direct, specific, and the personal medical advice you may need.

Dr. Paul Gittens

View posts by Dr. Paul Gittens
Dr. Gittens is one of the country’s leading specialists in sexual function for men and women, hormone replacement, male infertility and wellness. He is a board-certified urologist, fellowship trained specifically in sexual medicine and male infertility. He is also a clinical associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology. He founded the Rockwell Centers for Sexual Medicine & Wellness in Philadelphia, New York, and Lehigh Valley (formerly Centers for Sexual Medicine) – to provide patients a place with expert care, where they can discreetly address their sexual medical concerns without being rushed or waiting hours to see a physician.

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