Shockwave Therapy – a New Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

Over 30 million men in the United States suffer from erectile dysfunction. For the past 20 years, the “standard of treatment” has been a PDE-5 inhibitor drug (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, or generic equivalents). These drugs are effective for about 60-70% of men, allowing them to achieve and maintain an erection.

While PDE-5 inhibitors are a viable treatment, they are not a cure for ED.

A new treatment, Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-ESWT), has shown promising results in reversing vascular problems – the most common cause of ED. Shockwave therapy uses high frequency sound waves to damage tissues and blood vessels at a cellular level. The resulting healing has been shown to generate new blood vessels – a process called angiogenesis. Shockwave therapy also breaks down plaque buildup that blocks blood vessels.

Clinical studies have shown good results, especially for men with mild to moderate ED. Some studies also show good results using shockwave therapy to treat Peyronie's Disease – a condition which causes painful erections and curvature of the penis.

Shockwave therapy is administered in a clinic, over a period of 6-12 weeks. The therapy is relatively expensive – $3,000 or more for a complete series of treatments.

With the rising popularity of shockwave therapy, home treatment devices have begun to appear on the market. One device, the Phoenix, was developed to meet the same specifications as clinical devices, and sells for less than $1,000.