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Erectile Dysfunction: Who Might Benefit From Shockwave Therapy?

Erectile Dysfunction: Who Might Benefit From Shockwave Therapy?Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy might be an effective way to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), scientists say. But some men might have more luck with it than others.

A recent study found that men with diabetes or low testosterone (hypogonadism) might not respond as well to therapy as men without these conditions.

Men who have had ED for a long time are also less likely to respond, the researchers reported.

Shockwave therapy is an experimental treatment that uses acoustic wave energy to form new blood vessels. When applied to the penis, the treatment can improve genital blood flow, making it easier for a firm erection to develop.

The study involved 64 men with ED who underwent 6 shockwave therapy treatments. At the start of the study, and again 4 to 6 weeks after it finished, the men filled out questionnaires that assessed their sexual function and erections. They also answered questions about their overall health.

The researchers found that diabetes, low testosterone, and a longer duration of ED “were statistically significant predictors of a non-favorable response to therapy.” Men without these particular health problems tended to have more success with shockwave therapy.

The research team recommended further study in this area.

The findings were presented at the 20th Annual Fall Scientific Meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, held in October 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.


International Society for Sexual Medicine

“What is shockwave therapy and how might it help men with erectile dysfunction?”

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Gittens, P. and D. Roberson

“Predictors of Early Response to Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction”

(Abstract. January 2020)