Shockwave Therapy for ED

What is shock wave therapy?

Shock wave therapy (SWT) is a type of treatment that may be used for erectile dysfunction (ED). With SWT, pressure from waves that move faster than the speed of sound cause small, controlled injuries to the penis.

Is shock wave therapy safe and does it work?

SWT is likely safe when used to treat ED, but it is not clear if it really works. Most large studies have shown SWT results in zero or only small improvements in ED. Among the studies that did show help, they were mostly below the lowest level needed to be proven to work.

What should people know about shock wave therapy?

It is of great value to know that SWT is thought to help very little or not at all. Men should be cautious when hearing that SWT helps ED. Often, out of pocket costs may be high, so men should think over if they want to use SWT for ED. People should also know there is a lot of misinformation and advertising on SWT, but the improvement is likely small or none for most men.

Patients may want to know what the doctors read to learn more. The American Urological Association (AUA) guidelines for ED suggest patients should only have SWT in an approved clinical trial. Also, the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) suggests SWT should be done only for research and patients should not be charged more than the basic costs for research. Lastly, the European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM) has also stated that SWT is safe but may not prove to work in treating ED and needs more research.

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UrologyHealth.org  |  WINTER 2021-2022  |  UROLOGYHEALTH extra