CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The University of Virginia says it has begun tests utilizing shockwave therapy to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).
The trial will evaluate shockwave therapy’s effect on ED and if there are any side effects, such as bruising or pain.
Shockwave therapy has been used in other disorders to promote tissue healing. It is hoped that noninvasive pulsed sound waves applied to the genital area will improve the blood flow by strengthening blood vessels and encouraging the formation of new ones.
Dr. Ryan Smith, a urologist at UVA, says erectile dysfunction has many causes, including high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and in some cases prostate cancer.
Smith says part of the appeal of the treatment is the limited side effects.
“In the trails that have been done we haven’t really seen men have discomfort to it or adverse effects from it. So it is very quick, and the lack of adverse effect is one of the things that makes it very appealing for a treatment option,” he said.
The success of the initial tests could lead to a larger trial open to more men with erectile dysfunction