Shock wave therapy, also called acoustic wave therapy is a treatment that can improve the erection function of men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) issues. This therapy is a non-invasive or non-surgical type of treatment that can revive the function of impaired erectile function in males.
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence are sexual difficulties that are faced by men, which affect their ability to get and sustain stronger erections. The root cause of erection difficulties is the insufficiency of blood supply to the penile. The arteries of the penile turn narrow and hard, which prevents the blood flow inside.
Treatments such as medications can increase the blood flow inside the penile arteries. Similarly, shock wave therapy can also boost the blood flow to the penile. The blood flow increases when the arteries of the penile expand and dilate to allow more blood inside.
What is Shock wave therapy?
As per various sources, shock wave therapy for ED is an advanced form of treatment and it has not been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet. It is performed only by a licensed medical practitioner or clinician who has expertise in it. The therapy involves the emission of low-intensity shock waves into the penile skin. These waves penetrate the penile skin and reach deep within the tissues and cells.
As the waves get inside the erectile tissue, known as corpora cavernosum, they trigger tissue regeneration, growth, and development of new blood vessels, and expansion of narrowed blood vessels to allow more blood flow inside the penile.
The clinician will conduct this therapy with the help of a device that is shaped like a wand. The device is held for up to 15 minutes around the penile. The clinician will move the wand from one region to another, to cover the entire surface of the penile. The stimulation of tissue regeneration, growth of new blood vessels, and vasodilation happens when the penile receives the waves evenly in all regions.
The waves activate the physiological as well as the psychological processes inside the body. It can obtain great results for those having mild to moderate degrees of sexual difficulties. Those having severe forms of erectile dysfunction may not get the desired results.
ED treatment with Shock wave therapy
The device generates low-intensity pulses and when it is placed on the surface of the penile, the waves enter the penile and begin various physiological and chemical processes. There were various studies done by the researchers. They concluded that the waves can potentially trigger some common types of processes inside the penile organ, which are as follows:
- Neovascularization – Generally, this process stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in the penile. When new blood vessels grow inside the penile, there will be more blood flow happening inside. These newly formed blood vessels will engorge the penile with more blood supply, which can be beneficial for restoring the erection function. As a result, the erections will be firmer and long-lasting.
- Tissue regeneration – The waves reach deep inside the cells and stimulate cell regeneration. The cells and tissues thus experience rapid growth and transformation. New capillaries are formed inside, which improves the function of erectile tissue, that is, corpora cavernosa. The therapy has a kind of healing effect on the tissues.
- Dilation of the blood vessels – The waves can encourage biochemical processes in the endothelial walls of the blood vessels. This causes the release of a vasodilator chemical, known as nitric oxide (NO), in the endothelial walls. This chemical is responsible for maintaining the health of the blood vessels and keeping them expanded and relaxed to allow blood flow inside the penile. As NO is released, it restores the health of the blood vessels, which reinforces the erectile response.
How safe is Shock wave therapy?
Various studies have revealed that this is a type of painless and no-side-effects treatment for ED. However, despite many studies, one cannot rest assured that this treatment is completely safe. It is not yet recognized by the FDA for the treatment of ED, which prevents one from being sure of its safety.
FDA has approved alternative options such as medications including Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Avanafil (Stendra), and Vardenafil (Levitra). These drugs work by conducting vasodilation in the penile, which boosts the flow of blood inside.
Still, if one wishes to go for shock wave therapy then it is necessary to get it done from only certified and highly qualified medical professionals.