A new study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology has suggested that shockwave therapy could help men to over erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition in which men fail to attain and sustain an erection.
Researchers explained that zapping the penile organ with sound waves could help treat ED. They tested this relatively new treatment with a standard ED drug on a group of men suffering from impotence.
The study found that six sessions of extracorporeal shockwave therapy to the penile organ showed significantly better results than the drug alone.
The researchers believe that shockwave therapy works by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and nerves, restoring normal erectile function. Also, they found that zapping the penis with intensive vibrations is not painful.
Dr. Paolo Verze from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, said, “Low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy (LiESWT) is a ‘promising’ therapy for erectile dysfunction.”
Al the participants had type 2 diabetes, one of the common causes of ED, which can damage the blood vessels and nerves in the penile organ due to poor blood sugar control.
In the study, participants were asked to take a daily pill of Cialis (tadalafil), an ED drug, for 12 weeks. However, half of the participants also received LiESWT two times a week for three weeks.
Based on the scores of erectile function, the researchers analyzed the severity of ED among participants. Scores ranging from 22 to 25 indicate no ED and 5 to 7 indicate severe ED.
The scores were measured after 12 and 24 weeks
After 4 weeks, scores improved significantly in both groups by 2.9 in the tadalafil only group and 3.9 in the LiESWT group.
At 12 weeks, scores improved by 3.3 in the tadalafil only group and 4.3 in the LiESWT group.
At 24 weeks, the difference in scores was more evident.
The study authors said, “Shockwave therapy is believed to stimulate pathways that encourage growth factors. A growth factor is a natural substance in the body which helps with healing and cell growth.”
Dr. Verze said, “This may regenerate nerve fibers and blood vessels in the penis, improving blood flow. Consequently, LiESWT has the potential to restore natural erections and cure the disease.”