Let’s talk Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Written by Markyse, FNP

What is ED?

A condition which a person with a penis is not able to get an erection strong enough to have sex? ED is also known as impotence. This condition can happen at any age however, as someone gets older, we mostly see this in the aging population. Many factors can cause ED. Including neurological conditions such as Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. People with underline health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, prostate conditions and or bladder surgeries can develop ED.

Other causes include injuries to the nerves, loss of blood supplies to the penis and or long-term damage to the vessels of the penis. Medications can also cause ED, including blood pressure meds and or depression medications.

How to identify ED

ED is simply a lack of strong erection, not strong enough to penetrates. However, even with ED sexual desire remains intact and a person with a penis can still achieve orgasm and ejaculate.

How to treat ED

The first step in treating this condition includes having a conversation with your provider about your symptoms. ED can also be sign of other medical conditions to come such as cardiovascular conditions.

While medications such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, are well know medication options for this condition. Today we are going to look an option that provides great outcome but are not talked about as much.

Penile Vacuum Pump

A penile pump is a mechanical device that helps a person with a penis achieve an erection strong enough for sex. The device can be manual and or battery operated. It works by bringing more blood into the penis and then trapping it at the penis.

How to Use it

The penis is inserted into a hollow plastic tube, which is pressed against the body creating a seal. A vacuum is then created in the tube by use of a small hand pump. This draws blood into the penis, causing engorgement, enlargement and rigidity.

It takes one to three minutes of using the device for a full erection to be form. Once an erection is achieved, a soft, rubber O-ring is placed around the base of the penis to trap the blood and maintain the erection, penetration is now possible. The ring should not be used for more than 25 to 30 minutes.

The pump works best when the individual can achieve a partial erection on their own. After enough foreplay, and the person becomes partially arouse, apply the pump. Including your partner in the process can be part of the foreplay process and help gaining and maintaining an erection faster and stronger. The key is to make this fun and easy.

Advantages of Vacuum Erection Devices

  • The devices are safe.

  • No surgery is required.

  • No injections are required.

  • There are no significant side effects.

  • The devices are appropriate for nearly any type of erectile problem.

  • Lower cost ($100-$500) than surgery or continued self-injection treatments.

  • The devices are convenient.

  • The devices can be used as often as desired.

  • The devices may be covered by insurance.


The American Diabetes Association

American Urological Association

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