Let’s Talk About Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a sensitive subject. It affects you in the most intimate way possible, and if you have a partner, it affects them, too. But it can’t be a taboo subject if we want to develop effective treatments that prevent its recurrence on a permanent level. And it shouldn’t be a taboo subject – it’s super common, and becoming more common by the day.
In 1995, there were 152 million men in the world who dealt with the complications of chronic impotence. That number is projected to more than double by 2025, with 322 million men worldwide suffering from some level of erectile dysfunction.
The traditional treatments for ED are medications that increase penile blood flow. Sometimes, with a combination of other therapies and lifestyle changes, a patient will need these medications less over time. The problem is, these oral medications don’t solve any underlying physical issues – they just temporarily give your penis an extra hand, so to speak.
Regenerative therapies like stem cell injections and the P-shot, a platelet-rich-plasma treatment are proving promising methods for correcting ED. Both of these methods of treating erectile dysfunction aim to repair any underlying physical trauma, correcting the problem on a permanent basis.
Symptoms & Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
One or two instances of impotence don’t constitute a diagnosis of ED; erectile dysfunction is a routine problem getting and maintaining enough of an erection for sex. Symptoms of ED, besides impotence, are depression, chronic unease, and low self-esteem. Sex is important – not being able to perform normally takes a real toll, psychologically.
Sometimes, sexual dysfunction can be caused by psychological or emotional issues, which need to be addressed by a mental health professional. More often, there are underlying physical causes, such as:
- Nerve damage and/or neuropathy in the penis
- Trauma to penile tissue
- Cancer treatments to the pelvic area
Erectile dysfunction can also be a symptom of another malady:
- Overuse of drugs and/or alcohol
- Poor diet and/or no exercise
- Cardiovascular disease
- Low testosterone levels
In addition to oral medication, sometimes men use vacuum devices or penile pump implants to “correct” the symptoms of their ED. But there’s a better option: regenerative medicine.
Regenerative Therapies Solve the Fascial Issues of ED
Getting an injection in your most intimate parts might seem scary, but it’s minimally-invasive, not painful, and has the potential to cure your erectile dysfunction. There are two main regenerative injection therapies doctors have started to use to help patients with their ED: PRP therapy, and stem cell treatments.
PRP therapy, also known as platelet-rich-plasma treatments, is used for a number of conditions where nervous and/or musculoskeletal tissues have experienced trauma or pathology. When it’s used specifically for treating erectile dysfunction, it’s known as the P-Shot.
The P-shot works by using a plasma-concentrated solution created from your own blood and injected into the penis. The PRP injection contains growth factors that have demonstrated in clinical trials the ability to improve penile function and regenerate damaged nerves, both for ED as well as Peyronie’s Disease. What’s more, so far, this intracavernous PRP injection therapy hasn’t presented any health complications resulting from the therapy.
While still in clinical trials and development, once doctors in regenerative medicine find a controlled, standardized method of administering the P-Shot, research can focus on and hone this treatment method with the goal of curing ED.
Stem cell injections for erectile dysfunction work the same way stem cell treatments work for any tissue-trauma-related conditions. Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into whatever type of cell progenitor they need to. Combined with the concentration of growth factors in stem cell treatments, it can repair penile nerves, tissues, and blood vessels.
While published clinical studies on stem cell therapy for sexual dysfunction in men are still scarce, in-progress trials and clinical studies are reaping positive results while demonstrating a very high level of safety for patients. In a study of 21 men suffering from sexual dysfunction – including fibrosis, Peyronie’s and ED – 53% reported being able to achieve and maintain an erection enough to have penetrative intercourse without the aid of oral medications six months after just one injection of a stem cell solution into the penis.
In another study of 4 men with diabetes and ED, 2 years after stem cell therapy all reported increased sexual function and no adverse effects resulting from the treatment. Stem cell treatments can be administered to men of all ages, and have demonstrated a 50% minimum success rate with 1 injection, which increases with a long-term course of subsequent injections.
See? You don’t have to live with impotence, and you don’t have to install a penile pump in order to fix it. Regenerative remedies for sexual dysfunction in men, while early on in the literature, have almost unlimited potential to truly correct this chronic malady on a long-term level.