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Are Penis Pumps Effective for Erectile Dysfunction?

  • Friday 17 September 2021
  • 4 minute(s) read

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What is a Penis Pump?

A penis pump is a device that can help users achieve an erection. Men who experience erectile dysfunction may choose to use a penis pump as a non-drug treatment. A penis pump consists of a tube that fits over the penis and a battery- or hand-powered vacuum pump that removes air from the tube. This process increases blood flow to the penis, leading to an erection. 1

Erectile dysfunction is typically treated with Viagra (sildenafil) or a Cialis dosage. Although taking the little blue pill before sexual activity is effective, it may cause side effects in some men. A penis pump is a good alternative that does not cause the usual side effects of erectile dysfunction treatment medication. It also helps to achieve and maintain an erection long enough for penetrative sex. So, how do you use said penis pump?

a penis pump

How to Use a Penis Pump

Sex is often awkward enough as it is, and now you have to place a plastic tube on your penis before sex? Rough. But hey, the alternative is no sex, so here’s how you use one.

1. Start by inserting the penis into the tube. Using a lubricant can help you avoid irritation. Turn on the pump if it is battery-powered.

2. If your pump is hand-powered, use the hand pump to start removing air from the tube. A battery-powered pump would have started this process already. Within a few minutes, you will notice the air pressure changes, causing blood to rush to your penis

3. Behold, an erection. Remove the tube and you are now ready to participate in whatever you were about to do next.

Some penis pumps come with a penis ring that goes at the base of the penis. Once you achieve an erection, the penis ring can be used to stop blood from flowing away from the penis. While this is great for maintaining an erection, don’t use a penis ring for more than 30 minutes. Doing so can damage the penis. 2

Penis Pump Benefits

The best thing about penis pumps is that they are effective! Correctly used, most men are able to achieve an erection strong enough for sex with a penis pump. Plus, penis pumps are non-invasive, meaning no surgery or penile injection is required.

As mentioned above, penis pumps also pose less of a risk of side effects compared to other erectile dysfunction treatments. Depending on your doctor’s directions, penis pumps may be used alongside erectile dysfunction pills for optimal results. 2

a condom on a yellow pepper

Penis pumps may also be effective in helping you regain erectile function after procedures like prostate surgery or radiation therapy for prostate cancer. 

Risks and Side Effects

While penis pumps don’t cause side effects associated with ED drugs, they do come with some of their own risks, especially with improper use. The two main potential risks of using a penis pump include:

  • Increased risk of bleeding if you take anticoagulants. Before using a penis pump, check with your doctor if you are on a blood thinner medication like warfarin or clopidogrel. Taking a blood thinner and using a penis pump can increase your risk of excessive bleeding and damage to the penis.
  • Susceptibility to blood clots or bleeding if you have sickle cell anemia or another type of blood disorder. To prevent this complication, always let your doctor know about all of your health conditions and the medications you take before trying a penis pump.

a gray-haired man on the phone with his doctor

Other drawbacks of using a penis pump are side effects that include:

  • Petechiae: this side effect consists of pinpoint-sized red dots on the penis caused by bleeding under the skin of the penis.
  • Numbness: this side effect, often accompanied by bluish-colored skin, can occur when the penis ring has been on for too long.
  • Pain and bruising: Stimulating the blood flow in the penis too often or using a penis pump improperly can cause injury to the penis.
  • Trapped semen: A penis pump may cause you to feel like your semen is trapped when you ejaculate. Sometimes, this side effect can cause ejaculation to be painful. 3

The Bottom Line

Yes, a penis pump is effective for men experiencing erectile dysfunction, but it won’t cure ED. While it is a short-term solution, it is an effective one with fewer risks and side effects compared to traditional ED medications. You will have to consult your doctor to find out whether a penis pump is suitable for you. With all things considered, a penis pump is an effective way to achieve an erection, whether or not you are using it in conjunction with your ED treatment.

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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