What are the Risks of an ED Pump?

Posted by Men's Health Restoration Team on Aug 3, 2016 11:00:00 AM


An ED Pump is a vacuum constriction device used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). They have been used for many years and are quite effective, but the rise of effective oral ED medications has lead to a decline in their popularity.  Part of this may be that the devices are somewhat awkward to use, making them the choice for individuals in long-term relationships.  The side effects from using a penis pump are quite limited, and are often less than procedures or medications.


Some risks of using an ED pumps include increasing the risk of bleeding if you are on blood thinning medications, including ibuprofen.  Also, if you have a blood disorder, the likelihood of clotting or bleeding may also be increased by using a vacuum device.


Side Effects

When the penis pump creates a vacuum that forces blood into the penis, bleeding under the surface of the skin can occur, resulting in small red dots forming on the skin of the penis   After the constriction band is in place, although erect the penis may look unnatural with a blueish hue and may feel cold and numb.  This is the same sensation one would feel by placing a tight rubber band at the base of a finger.  It will subside after the constriction band is removed. To ensure no permanent damage is done, the band should only remain in place for less than 30 minutes.  

As an ED pump can be awkward to use, particularly to new users, pain or bruising may occur. However, as the user becomes more familiar with the device this should not continue.

Ejaculation may also be difficult when using an ED pump.  Some constriction bands may have a small notch in it to allow the semen to move more easily through the penis. If not, the semen may become trapped, causing discomfort and in some cases pain. This is not dangerous and generally does not interfere with the pleasure sensations.  After the band is removed, the semen will slowly exit.  Note that this constriction does not impede the orgasm experience. 

Other things to consider:

One complication that can occur is if the constriction ring is not placed low enough to the base of the penis, a 'hinge' may occur. This is when the portion of the penis above the ring is hard, but the portion below remains non-erect.  The hinge may make it difficult to have sex and make it less natural.

Although not side effects or risks, there are some other things to consider when using an penis pump. You may need to shave your pubic hairs so that the vacuum device can achieve a good seal.  We already mentioned the awkward component, but along with that you do need to have some coordination to utilize the device.  If this is an issue for you, or if you have arthritis or lack of strength in your hands, a battery powered ED pump may be a better option for you.  Also, some individuals report that the erections may not feel very natural, particularly if the constriction ring is not low enough on the shaft. 

A penile pump may work for you if you have diabetes or other conditions that are causing a blood inflow issue.  Also, the constriction device may be able to stop blood outflow issues. If you have both an inflow and outflow problem, a penile pump may be an effective option for you. However, if your blood inflow is severely limited by plaque formation in the pelvic arteries, the penile pump may not be able to draw enough blood into the penis for a sufficient erection.  In this case, or if you are uncomfortable using a penile pump, the RESTORE Procedure may be able to help.  This procedure opens up the penile arteries through a balloon angioplasty to increase blood flow to the penis.


Not sure if an ED Pump will be effective for you?

Get an comprehensive ED Evaluation!  Our Men's Clinic is uniquely positioned to provide you with a thorough evaluation including a ultrasound of the penile arteries, conducted by a Board Certified Radiologist, to determine if blood inflow or outflow is causing your ED. Based upon the results of the ultrasound, as well as testosterone testing and additional evaluation, our physicians can provide you with effective treatment options.

Book an Evaluation!


Learn about alternative treatment options available in our 5 Step ED Treatment Guide Infographic:

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Topics: penile pump

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