Penile pump (erectile dysfunction pump or ED pump) or a vacuum constriction device is a low cost and non-surgical alternative for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). They are effective for men with moderate ED and for men in penile rehabilitation after prostate surgery. For patients who have had prostate surgery, the penile pump should be used four to five times daily to increase blood flow to the penis. It also prevents loss of penile length if used after prostate surgery.
Penile pumps for ED can also be used by men with psychological problems such as anxiety or depression. The ED pump may not offer a cure for ED, but it may help make an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse and it may need to be combined with oral medications for ED. It may take approximately 10-20 minutes for the man to achieve an erection sufficient enough for sex when using this device. Many men may find this solution unacceptable if they are not in long term stable relationships due to the awkwardness of using the device and incorporating it and the time it takes into their sexual activity.
Adverse effects of ED pumps?
- Painful erections that feel cold or numb
- Bluish skin color/ bleeding underneath the surface of the skin
- Unnatural feeling erections
According to American Urological Association, over use of the pump can damage the penis therefore they recommend buying and erectile dysfunction pumps that come with vacuum limiter which limits the amount of negative pressure applied to the penis. In rare cases, vacuum induced vasculogenic impotence and Peyronie's disease (abnormal curvature of the penis) have been documented due to intense pulling force and absence of pressure release valve.
If you take blood thinners, contact your doctor before using a penile pump. Use caution if you have diminished penile sensation, have significant penile curvature or have a history of priapism (prolonged erection) and talk to your doctor.
How much do they cost?
A penis pump can range from $15 to $200 plus. It's a onetime cost so it tends to be cheaper when compared to other alternatives. Some might even be covered by insurance if you have a doctor's note indicating that you have organic ED.
What are the alternatives?
If your erectile dysfunction is caused by a lack of blood inflow into the penis, a penis pump may be able to help. It overcomes the slow blood inflow by drawing the blood faster into the penis through the pump action. However, if your blood vessels are fully clogged, this may not be effective for you. If there is some limited flow, a balloon angioplasty of these arteries may be able to help. If there is no blood flow through the penile arteries, then a penile implant may be the next option. Although it is seen as a last resort due to the invasive nature of the implant, patients report a high satisfaction rate.
If blood is flowing into the penis at a natural rate sufficient to cause an erection, but is flowing out of the penis just as fast, then an outflow problem may be causing your erectile dysfunction. Utilizing a ring device at the base of the penis, very similar to the constriction ring used with the penile pump, may be sufficient for you to achieve an erection hard enough for sex. This can be a low cost and efficient option.
Don't know if a Pump is right for you?
Schedule and ED Evaluation with our Men's Clinic and get to the cause of your ED. Our physicians will tailor a treatment plan to your needs based upon your ED Evaluation results. The evaluation includes:
- Two office visits
- Penile Ultrasound conducted by a board certified radiologist
- Testosterone levels testing and results
- 1 on 1 private consultation with one of our physicians
- Trial medication
- Discount pricing on first PRP Therapy Treatment
- And more!
Looking for more general informaion? Click here to download our 5 step treatment guide to learn more about other options.