Beyond Medications: The Use of Wave Therapy for ED

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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wave therapy for ed

Wave therapy is a recent technology that uses sound waves to treat many medical conditions like Erectile Dysfunction.

Besides being used in Erectile Dysfunction, wave therapies are used in orthopedic, cardiovascular, and dermatological treatments.

Unlike medications, which are usually symptomatic, wave therapy focuses more on treating the cause and helping the patients achieve spontaneous and natural erections.

Read on to find out how to use different types of wave therapy for ED and the potential side effects and risks it involves.

Different types of wave therapies

Different wave therapies vary depending on their intensity, wave amplitude, biological effects, and the technology used to make them.

The following are the technologies used in different wave therapies:

Acoustic Wave Therapy

Acoustic Wave Therapy for ED differs greatly from normal shockwave therapy and in the types of waves used.

Being much softer, acoustic waves have less penetrating power and do not last as long as shockwave therapy.

Acoustic waves are delivered to the tissue in focused and non-focused radial waves.

When focused on the penis, acoustic waves stimulate the nerves and blood vessels in Corpora Cavernosa, which is important to treat ED.

The corporal sinusoids or Corpora Cavernosa sinusoids are interlocking blood vessels in the penile tissue that store blood in the penis for erection.

The radial waves are not well-suited for ED since they have been shown to cause little improvement in erectile functions in the penis.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwaves are high-energy acoustic waves created underwater with high voltage electric arc explosion and subsequent vaporization of water.

There are two types of Shockwave Therapy for ED: Radial Shockwave Therapy (RSWT) and Focused Shockwave Therapy (FSWT).

Animal studies show that low-intensity Shockwave Therapy successfully reactivated the neurons, Schwann cell proliferation, and reduced oxidative stress.

However, being a new technology, Shockwave Therapy still has many unknown factors, which can only be resolved with time and more research.

Fact:
Schwann cells produce a sheath around the neurons that covers them and protects them from damage.
They play a crucial role in the injury of penile tissue, which gives rise to Erectile Dysfunction.

Daily Vacuum Therapy

Daily Vacuum Therapy for ED uses negative pressure to dilate the corporal sinusoids and increase the blood flow to the penis.

Vacuum Therapy has been shown to increase the erectile function of animal models through antifibrotic, antihypoxic, and antiapoptotic (preventing cell death) mechanisms.

Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound therapy

Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) therapy is a new technique for treating Erectile Dysfunction in men.

A study conducted on mice found that LIPUS therapy reversed the pathological changes that caused Erectile Dysfunction in the samples by increasing:

  • Endothelial cells
  • Nitric oxide content
  • Collagen content

Another study on human patients showed that LIPUS therapy showed great results in treating ED without any after-effects and has reversed the condition caused by ED.

Although successful, LIPUS still needs more trials and research to make it safe for human use.

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  • How is wave therapy applied

    Wave therapy is usually administered using handheld devices to the targetted organs.

    A gel is used between the penis and the device to transfer the shock waves efficiently.

    The doctor uses local anesthesia on the affected part and decides the amount of shocks per minute based on the severity of the ED.

    Side effects and risks

    painful erectionSource: DAPA_IMAGES
    Painful erection

    Wave therapy is currently not regulated by the FDA, so you need to know the side effects that can occur.

    Shockwave therapy can cause side effects like pain, tissue damage, and skin bleeding.

    Besides these side effects, there are also some rare adverse effects:

    • Hematoma (pooling of blood under the skin)
    • Hematuria (blood in urine)
    • Infection of penile skin
    • Painful erection
    • Progression of lower Urinary Tract Infection
    Warning:
    Always consult your doctor before undergoing specialized treatment like wave therapy for ED to prevent serious side effects.

    Takeaway

    Besides being used for orthopedic, cardiovascular, and dermatological purposes, wave therapy treats Erectile Dysfunction in men.

    There are different types of wave therapy for ED, like Acoustic wave therapy, Shockwave therapy, Daily vacuum therapy, and Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound therapy.

    The nerves and blood vessels in the penile tissues are stimulated by Acoustic wave therapy.

    Shockwave therapy reactivates the neurons and increases the Schwann cells in the nerves of the penis.

    Vacuum therapy utilizes the negative pressure effects and helps to treat the Corpora Cavernosa sinusoids, which store the blood needed for erection.

    Lastly, Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) therapy increases the Endothelial cell numbers and Nitric oxide and Collagen content in the penis.

    Although wave therapy is a physical treatment, it can still cause adverse side effects like pain, tissue damage, and bleeding.

    Since these therapies are new and still under active research, it is best to consult a doctor before using them.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is wave therapy effective for ED?

    Yes, wave therapy is an effective treatment for ED. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of wave therapies like Acoustic therapy and Shockwave therapy have helped to relieve the penis of Erectile dysfunction symptoms and reverse the damage done by it.

    How long does wave therapy for ED last?

    The effects of Shockwave therapy in patients were found to last for almost two years after the treatment. The duration depends on how severe the ED and moderate to mild ED have more lasting beneficial effects from wave therapy.

    What is the cost of wave therapy for ED?

    An average wave therapy has about six sessions, which can cost upto 500 USD on average. The prices are not fixed since most of these treatments are performed by non-urologists currently, resulting in non-standardized rates and fees.

    What type of wave therapy is best for ED?

    The Low-Intensity Shockwave therapy is the best and most successful among the available wave therapies. It has shown exceptional results both in clinical experiments and in regular patients. It has also been shown to reverse the effects caused by ED and improve natural and spontaneous erections in men.

    Citations:
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