Penile prostheses as a solution for ED
How Does A Penis Prosthetic Work?
There are two types of custom prosthetic that can be surgically implanted:
- Semi-rigid Implant; Thin wire-filled rods are fitted into the erectile chamber. The rods are lifted into place for sex.
- Inflatable Implant; A reservoir of saline, a pump and two cylinders are implanted. The pump moves saline from the reservoir to the cylinders that inflate the penis.
They work by taking the place of blood flow in the erection process.
Why Do Some Men Need One?
Medical conditions can mean that men are no longer able to sustain an erection and enjoy a sex life. If the condition is unlikely to improve, penile prostheses can make sex an option. Conditions causing permanent erectile dysfunction are:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Heart disease
- Peyronie's disease - erectile curvature due to scar tissue
- Prostate cancer surgery; Nerves and blood vessels near the prostate can become torn and damaged meaning insufficient blood gets to the penis.
Do Penile Implants Actually Work?
Yes, they can work and work well. Implants don't interfere with touch sensation so ejaculation and sexual pleasure are not affected.
A study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that of 47 men with erectile dysfunction had this surgery and 79% reported they are satisfied with the outcome. They confirmed physical improvements in vaginal penetration and sexual desire, psychologically they reported improvements in self-esteem, confidence and male identify.
Dr Gordon Muir, a consultant urologist at King's College Hospital and the Lister Hospital, London, says 'Penile prostheses have a very high success rate, and treatment of erectile dysfunction shows fantastic quality of life benefits for men and their partners'.
Would It Suit Me?
If you have a permanent erectile dysfunction issue then an implant may be the answer, but it's a last resort for men who have tried all other methods. The NHS won't usually fund a penile implant.
Viagra, Cialis, Avanafil and other erectile dysfunction medications work well and are safely used by millions of men worldwide. They work by increasing blood flow to the penis so an erection is produced.
Counselling and other psychological treatments are also available for men who find their erectile dysfunction is not due to physical issues.
Whatever the reason for erectile dysfunction, there are options to help. Speak to your doctor if you are struggling and remember you are far from alone; The NHS estimates that half of all men between 40 and 70 men suffer from erectile dysfunction to some extent. It's a common problem and one that is successfully treated every day.