How Do ED Vacuum Pumps (Vacuum Erection Devices) Work?
Erectile Dysfunction and ED Vacuum Pumps
ED vacuum pumps are an excellent treatment alternative for many men dealing with erectile dysfunction.
Keep reading and find out below if an ED vacuum pump is right for you.
Also learn all about the specific vacuum erection device proven to be 96% effective.
The inability to achieve or maintain sufficient penile erection during the act of sexual intercourse is referred to as erectile dysfunction – a condition that affects as many as 30 million men (1).
According to a new study published in the Sexual Medicine Reviews, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in young males under the age of 40 years is as high as 30% (2).
Common causes include structural defects of penis, iatrogenic causes (such as prostate surgery), psychological causes (such as stress, anxiety, depression), endocrinological causes and medical causes (such as diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis).
According to another study, almost half of the male diabetic population suffers from erectile dysfunction (3).
Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction
There are several treatment options available to manage the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, such as:
– Oral Drugs such as phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra
– Testosterone therapy (especially when the cause of ED is low testosterone levels)
– Penile implants
– Penile injections
– ED vacuum pumps
– Surgery (if the cause of ED is pelvic trauma)
Anatomy of the Penis
Penis is the primary male copulatory organ that consists of following parts:
– Base or Root: The part of penis that is connected to the body and located in the pelvic floor (or superficial perineal pouch) is known as base or root. It is made up of two muscles, bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus and three erectile tissues – right and left crura and bulb.
– Glans: Head of the penis that is coned shaped and has the opening for the release of semen and urine – also known as external urethral orifice
– Shaft: The long part of penis between base and glans. It is made up of 2 cylindrical chambers that are continuation of the right and left crura.
In the shaft, crura are referred to as corpora cavernosa that runs parallel through the length of penis on either side.
The shaft also has blood vessels, tissues, nerves, and spongy tissue (which is a continuation of bulb of base) and known as corpora spongiosum.
The urethra that serves as a conduit for the passage of semen and urine also runs through spongy tissue.
Physiology of Erection
Penis has 2 primary functions, micturition (or urination) and copulation (or sexual intercourse).
Urination involves expulsion of urine that is formed in kidneys and stored in the urinary bladder to the exterior via external urethral orifice.
Copulation involves erection of penis upon sexual or physical stimulation due to engorgement of veins in response to chemicals and hormones, followed by emission. Emission is the ejaculation of semen from external urethral orifice. The penis then returns to the flaccid state.
Physiology of Erection
The process of erection starts in the brain with sexual arousal when you hear, see, smell or touch something that excites you.
The nerves in brain sends chemical signals that helps with erection.
The erection is controlled by parasympathetic system that sends stimulatory signals by releasing special chemicals also known as neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine and nitric oxide.
These chemicals relaxes the smooth muscles of arteries to allow the filling of blood within the corpora cavernosa – the erectile tissue of penis.
The resultant effect is, stiffness (or erection) of penis.
At the same time there is the restriction of the outflow of blood from the penis to maintain erection through the membranes that covers corpora cavernosa (also known as tunica albuginea).
After you reach orgasm, the brain sends signals to the muscular tissues in the penis to relax, thus releasing the blood back into the circulation causing your penis to become soft and flaccid.
How ED Vacuum Pumps work for the management of ED?
ED vacuum pumps are external devices that can help men with erectile dysfunction to achieve and maintain erection during the act of intercourse.
Vacuum pumps do not cure erectile dysfunction but can help affected men to maintain a healthy sex life.
A traditional vacuum erection device (also referred to as VED) is made up of 3 components:
– A cylinder or tube to be placed over the penis
– Constriction or tension bands that are applied over the base of penis once erection is achieved
– A Pump that is linked to the cylinder/ tube to generate suction (negative pressure).
The ED vacuum pump may be manual or battery-powered or it could be a sleeve that can create negative pressure in the tube.
The working principle of VED may differ, depending on different devices; but essentially use of all VED devices involve these steps:
• Apply a lubricant over your penis.
• Put the cylindrical device or tube on penis and use the pump to suck the air out of it
• The vacuum thus created helps draws in blood towards the penile shaft, resulting in engorgement of penile tissue resulting in erection.
• Old school penile pumps may take up to 20-30 minutes to achieve full erection
• Once desired erection is achieved, apply the constriction band towards the lower end of penis to retain the erection. These bands come in various sizes and you may have to test out a few to find the best fit.
• Release the vacuum and remove the pump and engage in sexual intercourse
Most modern penis vacuum pumps are often a single-piece device, such as the very popular Vacurect OTC device.
It works by creating negative pressure that pulls blood into the penis to achieve a satisfactory erection in as little as 60 seconds.
Once desired erection is achieved, you can apply the tension system towards penile base to retain erection until the tension system is released.
Usually these vacuum pumps can keep the erection for up to 30 minutes or more.
It is advised to not wear the tension device for more than 30 minutes as the constriction bands can compromise the blood circulation to penis resulting in injury if worn for too long.
Who are ideal candidates for Penis Vacuum Pumps?
Penis vacuum pumps can be used safely by men suffering from erectile dysfunction due to following reasons:
– Prostate surgery
– Vascular disorders of penis that restricts the flow of blood to penile tissue
– Erectile dysfunction due to psychological causes such as depression and anxiety
– Men who cannot take oral drugs to manage erectile dysfunction
Who should not use Penis vacuum pumps?
If you have following health issues, penile vacuum pumps may not be a suitable option for you:
– History of a bleeding disorder
– Individuals who are susceptible to develop priapism (prolonged, painful penile erection) – such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia etc.
– Individuals who are on blood thinning medications such as Clopidogrel or Warfarin.
– Compromised penile sensation
– Abnormal penile curvature
– Injury of spinal cord
Success Rates With Vacuum Erection Devices
Clinical and research studies indicate that the success rate of vacuum construction devices is 50-80%.
Some modern penis vacuum pumps have an even higher success rate.
For example, the Vacurect OTC system has been shown to have a 96% success rate in producing a satisfactory erection.
To learn even more about the Vacurect OTC ED pump system visit our Erectile Dysfunction page.
There are a number of benefits of using penis pumps over other erectile dysfunction treatments; such as:
– Low Cost
– High satisfaction score among users and their partners
– Lower risk of complication
– Minimally invasive compared to other treatments (does not involve injection of medicines in penis or a surgical intervention
– Can be used along with other treatments such as oral medications
Potential Side Effects With Using Vacuum Pumps
The erection achieved by penis vacuum pumps may feel somewhat different than a natural erection.
Some men may experience numbness of penis.
Other common side effects are:
– Painless bruising of penis around the area where constriction band is applied. This resolves spontaneously
– Delayed or slow ejaculation as the constriction bands traps the ejaculate within the penis and is released slowly when the bands are removed. This however does not interfere with the climax or orgasm.
– Painful ejaculation
It is highly recommended to speak to a healthcare provider to see if you are a good candidate for penis vacuum pumps.
2. Nguyen, H. M. T., Gabrielson, A. T., & Hellstrom, W. J. (2017). Erectile dysfunction in young men—a review of the prevalence and risk factors. Sexual medicine reviews, 5(4), 508-520.
3. Kouidrat, Y., Pizzol, D., Cosco, T., Thompson, T., Carnaghi, M., Bertoldo, A., … & Veronese, N. (2017). High prevalence of erectile dysfunction in diabetes: a systematic review and meta‐analysis of 145 studies. Diabetic Medicine, 34(9), 1185-1192.