What is Penile Rehabilitation?
Penile rehabilitation is a therapy designed to enhance male health and encourage natural erectile and sexual functions. It’s particularly useful for aging men and those who have had a prostatectomy or some other urological surgeries that affect on male virility – making it difficult or impossible to achieve a natural erection or remain sexually active.
The penile tissue designed for erections can become atrophied like other parts of the body that do not get regular use. For a man, this means softer erections and smaller overall size that are harder to maintain. With penile rehabilitation, various exercises and treatments are available to keep the blood flowing to all of the parts of the penis, increasing blood circulation and sensitivity for good male health even later in life.
A healthy man in his prime will usually have 4-7 erections per day, in varying degrees of size, length of time, and firmness. These regular erections keep the penile tissues strong and working properly.
What kinds of penile rehabilitation treatments are available?
Drug Treatments – While not useful in the first 6 to 12 months after radical prostatectomy, drugs like sildenafil can help increase erections. However, this being the case, getting started with penile rehabilitation earlier using other methods is preferred as it not only helps achieve faster results, it improves the effectiveness of such drugs. There are more considerations with drugs, for instance, the side effects and the previous health conditions of a patient. For instance, users with diabetes, high blood pressure medicine, taking nitrates should not be using sildenafil. Some of the other options are safer and can be used for results in the first 6-12 months of penile rehabilitation.
Intraurethral Alprostadil (MUSE) – Roughly 30 – 40% of all men have sexual benefit from MUSE, another drug treatment option where a small pellet is placed inside about an inch or so into the male urethra, inducing an erection that lasts roughly an hour for most men. Most doctors have seen good results from Alprostadil, with few side effects. Many men prefer alprostadil over injections, which can be intimidating or even frightening for some.
Inracavernous Injections – Injections are one of the most surefire ways to achieve an erection, boasting a success rate over 3 in 4 men, far superior in results to other kinds of therapy. However, it is not as practical or ideal to inject directly into your genitals; this process takes great care in a clinic, and even those who actually do seek results at home must be instructed how to do so safely.
Vacuum Therapy Device – A medical grade vacuum pump designed for Erectile Dysfunction is a simple tool requiring no drugs, injections, or intrauretheral absorption. For most men, it’s the safest form while a relatively high success rate in achieving erections firm enough for intercourse and can be the most economical long-term. With vacuum therapy, a cylinder is placed over the penis and negative vacuum pressure is “pumped”, pulling blood into the genitals. This increased blood flow causes a natural erection. With a vacuum therapy device, penile rehabilitation is a simple operation done multiple times a day to keep the male unit healthy:
- The goal of the vacuum pump is therapy, not necessarily sex (although it is used for both.) Since with rehabilitation the goal is to achieve multiple erections, a tension ring is not necessary for treatment.
- The vacuum cylinder is placed around the male unit with the use of a water-based lubricant to help seal the edges.
- The device is pumped (or its vacuum is turned on), which pulls the air out of the cylinder and creates the pressure that draws the blood in. An erection is usually achieved over the course of a couple minutes.
- Keep the pressure on the erection; at least for 30 seconds to give the circulation time to open up.
- Release the pressure and the erection will decrease in size. Wait until the penis is soft again.
- Steps 3 – 5 over a period of 5 to 10 minutes.
With any case of erectile dysfunction, it’s best to consult a physician rather than self-diagnosing or seeking your own treatment options. Evidence is appearing more frequently with links of erectile dysfunction is a symptom for life-threatening heart disease, urological or neurological disorders. Always seek the help of a doctor before taking any kind of medications or supplements.