Vacuum Erection Devices
Vacuum erection devices, (also referred to as VED), is a noninvasive method of managing erectile dysfunction in men. There are various types of VEDs but one should only use those which are available via prescriptions. Each VED typically consists of these component:
- A chamber or cylinder which is placed on the penis
- A vacuum device or pump which can be used to exert negative pressure on the penis; thereby engorging the blood vessels in penis
- And Constriction rings which are used to keep the device in place.
How To Use Vacuum Erection Devices?
The precise instructions to use a VED vary from device to device and it is highly recommended to speak to a doctor in order to learn how to use VED effectively. You can also refer to the package instructions.
Typically, the mode of action of VED is quote similar and follow these simple steps:
- First, apply a water-soluble lubricant on the constriction rings and penis.
- Then gentle allow the rings to get stacked on the base of cylinder.
- Place the cylinder on penis
- In order to keep the device in place, make sure the base of cylinder is tightly held against the pubic area.
- Once the device is placed properly the pump will be activated to create the negative pressure and draw blood towards the corpora cavernosa. This will ultimately create the artificial penile erection.
- When penile blood is engorged, constriction bands are pulled onto the base of penis from the cylinder. The negative pressure will be released through a valve and then the cylinder will be removed as soon as the person ejaculates.
The erection produced via VED is different from the natural erections. For example, due to engorgement of blood, the overall circumference of penis increases when the VED is in place. Furthermore, the penis may rotate at the base due to which the individual is required to stabilize the penis during sexual activity.
This noninvasive treatment method is best for those who have mild erectile dysfunction. Males who used vacuum erection devices for the primary treatment of erectile dysfunction suggests that this device is not effective for men with severe erectile dysfunction. Though it is a non-invasive method but its use is not trending in men due to difficulty in using this device i.e. non-compliance. Moreover, there are several oral medications that are available for the treatment of moderate erectile dysfunction.
Vacuum erection devices is ideally recommended to manage erectile dysfunction due to organic or psychogenic reasons. According to a new study reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine (2), investigators suggested that vacuum devices makes up a great option for early penile rehabilitation after a prostate surgery or malignancy. Besides addressing ED, vacuum devices also serves to minimize the risk of vascular dysfunction (secondary to radiation therapy for cancer management) and rehabilitation of corpora cavernosa. Investigators also suggested that early use of VED after radical prostatectomy procedure is also associated with preservation of length and girth of penis.
Finally, in men who experience ED due to neurological causes (such as advanced diabetic neuropathy), VED can be used to restore the normal quality of sex life.
Advantages Of Using Vacuum Erection Devices?
Like every treatment, there are several pros and cons. For example:
- A lot of people opt for VED because the expenses are covered by insurance.
- As compared to some other methods, such as penile injection, VED is less invasive
- In some cases, surgical intervention is needed to successfully address this issue. However, patients who opt for VED does not need any surgical procedure or medications.
Limitations Of Using Vacuum erection Devices
- As discussed previously, compared to all the treatment options that are available to address erectile dysfunction, VED is not so effective.
- Although VED sorts out the issue of achieving optimal erection, the sexual intercourse is not as pleasurable as penile erections are usually painful.
- Incompliance leading to discontinuation of use.
- Some patients also reports that using VED gives them a burdensome and clumsy feeling.
1. Fode, M., Krogh-Jespersen, S., Brackett, N. L., Ohl, D. A., Lynne, C. M., & Sonksen, J. (2012). Male sexual dysfunction and infertility associated with neurological disorders. Asian J Androl, 14(1), 61-8.
2. Pahlajani, G., Raina, R., Jones, S., Ali, M., & Zippe, C. (2012). Vacuum erection devices revisited: its emerging role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and early penile rehabilitation following prostate cancer therapy. The journal of sexual medicine, 9(4), 1182-1189.
3. Turner, L. A., Althof, S. E., Levine, S. B., Tobias, T. R., Kursh, E. D., Bodner, D., & Resnick, M. I. (1990). Treating erectile dysfunction with external vacuum devices: impact upon sexual, psychological and marital functioning. The Journal of urology, 144(1), 79-82.