A Team Approach to Care

Penile Vacuum Pump

If you or a loved one experiences erectile dysfunction on a regular basis, resulting in stress, anxiety, or relationship problems, there are numerous treatment options available. There are numerous factors that may contribute to male impotence and it is important to be evaluated by an experienced and dedicated urologist. In many cases, the simplest solution is best and countless men have had success overcoming erectile dysfunction with a vacuum device.

The urologists at Comprehensive Urology have extensive training and experience treating male sexual dysfunction. We understand that addressing erectile issues can be intimidating, but our professional, compassionate team ensure that each and every patient receives confidential reliable treatment.

How a Penis Pump Helps With Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction may make it difficult for a man to get or maintain an erection, as well as reduce a man’s sexual desire. There are many reasons why ED may occur, and these include:

  • Physical: Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other physical conditions have been linked to ED symptoms.
  • Psychological: Depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological issues may cause ED and other forms of sexual dysfunction.
  • Tobacco Use: Smoking and other tobacco use may restrict blood flow to the veins and arteries, leading to chronic medical conditions that cause ED.
  • Medications: Antidepressants, antihistamines, and other medications may be used to treat high blood pressure, pain, or other medical conditions, but they also may interfere with a man’s ability to get and maintain an erection.
  • Drug and Alcohol Use: Excessive drug and alcohol use may cause long-lasting health problems that contribute to ED.
  • Injury: Past damage to nerves or arteries that control erections may result in ED symptoms.

A penis pump sometimes provides an effective ED treatment that enables men to maintain an erection that lasts long enough to engage in sexual intercourse. On average, men can use a penis pump to create an erection in less than 3 minutes. A penis pump also provides a non-invasive ED solution with minimal side effects.

How Does a Vacuum Penile Pump Work?

A vacuum penile pump includes three components:

  • Cylinder: A man’s penis is inserted into the cylinder, and air is pumped out of the cylinder to create a vacuum that increases blood flood to the penis’ shaft. This ultimately causes the penis to swell and become erect.
  • Pump: The pump is used in conjunction with the cylinder to create a vacuum that results in an erection. It may be motorized or manual and attached directly to the end of the penis.
  • Tension Band: Also referred to as a constriction ring, the tension band is placed on the cylinder and fastens around the penis. The tension band prevents blood from exiting the penis during an erection.

A penis pump, also known as a vacuum constriction device or an erectile dysfunction pump, is a cylindrical device that is used to get and maintain an erection by drawing blood into the penis with vacuum suction. The pump is a non-invasive, FDA approved treatment option that may be combined with other erectile dysfunction treatments, such as oral medication. Vacuum devices are proven to be effective for men who experience erectile dysfunction as a result of physical or psychological factors.

In most cases, men can typically achieve a full erection within a few minutes of using the vacuum device and can maintain an erection for up to 30 minutes with the assistance of a constriction ring. The ring is placed around the base of the erect penis to maintain penile blood engorgement until after sexual activity.

Many penis pumps are available, and no two pumps are identical. As such, it is important to evaluate a variety of penis pumps to select the right one based on an individual’s ED symptoms.

At CU, our urologists can provide insights into a wide range of vacuum penile pumps. They also can provide vacuum penile pump recommendations and in-depth instructions to teach patients how to use a penis pump.

Who Can Use Vacuum Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction

Vacuum devices are often prescribed as an initial treatment option for erectile dysfunction because they are non-invasive and affordable. A penis pump is an ideal option for men who may be experiencing erectile dysfunction as a result of physical factors, such as diabetes, or nerve damage due to spinal cord injury or prostate cancer treatment, or as a result of psychological factors, including performance anxiety. Additionally, men who are ineligible for ED medications, whether due to taking nitrate drugs or alpha blockers, can have success using a vacuum device.

A vacuum device is not advised from those who have significant penile curvature as the cylindrical pump may cause too much strain on the penis. Other conditions in which a vacuum device may be ineffective or even harmful include:

  • Priapism (painful, prolonged erection)
  • Numbed penile sensation due to nerve damage
  • Blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia
  • Use of blood thinning medication

If you are considering erectile dysfunction treatment, it is in your best interest to discuss your concerns and goals with a board-certified urologist with experience treating male sexual dysfunction. There are numerous options available, but it is important to have the insight and guidance of a medical professional to ensure that you achieve the best possible results efficiently and safely.

The Advantages of ED Vacuum Pumps

Compared to other methods for treating impotence, the advantages of vacuum pumps include:

  • Non-Invasive: A penis pump does not require surgery or medication, and it can be used any time a man wants to create an erection during sexual intercourse.
  • Fast Results: Men can use a penis pump to create an erection in just minutes.
  • Easy to Use: A penis pump features a user-friendly design, and it generally won’t take long for a man to learn how to use this device to get and maintain an erection.
  • Affordable: The cost of a penis pump may be lower than the cost associated with ED surgery or medication.
  • Low Maintenance: A penis pump typically requires little to no long-term maintenance and will continue to perform consistently for an extended period of time.
  • Low Risk of Complications: Whereas ED surgery and medications may cause a wide range of immediate and long-term side effects, there are few side effects associated with penis pumps. Additionally, penis pump side effects are usually temporary and disappear on their own.
  • Can Be Combined with Other Erectile Dysfunction Treatments: A penis pump can be used safely in conjunction with surgery, medication, and other ED treatments.
  • Success of 80% or More for Many Men: Research indicates that the majority of ED patients who use a penis pump are satisfied with the results.

A CU urologist can help a patient compare and contrast a penis pump and other ED treatments. Plus, a CU urologist can provide recommendations and insights to help a patient address his ED symptoms both now and in the future.

Risks and Side Effects of Vacuum Constriction Devices

Using a vacuum device can take a bit of trial and error, particularly when it comes to learning how to operate the pump, wearing a constriction ring, and achieving the desired results. As with any medical device, vacuum penis pumps have a degree of risk and can cause the following side effects in some men:

  • Bruising
  • Penile pain
  • Numb or cold sensation
  • Bluish skin tone
  • Petechiae – red dots of blood under the surface of the skin
  • Risk of bleeding when taking blood-thinning medications
  • Risk of blood clots if you have a blood disorder, such as sickle cell anemia
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Sensation of trapped semen
  • Pressure-induced injury

Fortunately, the majority of men who use a prescribed vacuum device do not experience side effects, but may have to adjust to the awkwardness or manual coordination required to achieve an erection. It is not uncommon for men to have to adjust to the fact that a vacuum device erection may not feel like a natural or spontaneous erection, as the skin temperature is usually lower and the base or shaft is not as firm.

It is recommended that men only use a prescription vacuum device to ensure safety and effectiveness. Specially designed penis pumps that are intended for medical use are constructed to reach a limited level of pressure to ensure reduced risk of injury or side effects. Online companies may offer penis pumps that are not effective or safe, so it is important for patients to consult with a board-certified doctor for an FDA approved device.

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