Erectile Dysfunction (ED, Impotence) (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

In this Article

Can a penis pump (vacuum device) help erectile dysfunction?

Mechanical vacuum devices cause an erection by creating a vacuum around the penis that draws blood into the penis, engorging it, and expanding it. The devices have three components:

  1. a plastic cylinder, in which the penis is placed;
  2. a pump, which draws air out of the cylinder;
  3. an elastic band, which is placed around the base of the penis, to maintain the erection after the cylinder is removed and during intercourse by preventing blood from flowing back into the body (see figure 2).

One variation of the vacuum device involves a semi-rigid rubber sheath that is placed on the penis and remains there after attaining erection and during intercourse.

Picture of vacuum-constrictor device for erectile dysfunction (ED)
Picture of a penis pump for erectile dysfunction (ED); SOURCE: NIH

Can low testosterone level be replaced?

Because of potential adverse effects and complex metabolism, the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is limited to men with symptoms of erectile dysfunction and a testosterone level of less than 200 nanograms per deciliter. Preparations available in the U.S. are topical, injectable, and transbuccal (placing inside mouth between the cheek and upper gum) testosterone. Oral preparations are not available in the U.S.

Common side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include local irritations, prostate enlargement, breast tissue enlargement, aggravation of breast and prostate cancers, depression, elevation of red blood cell count (polycythemia), or worsening of congestive heart failure.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/23/2015

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Erectile Dysfunction - Causes Question: What causes your erectile dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction - Treatment Question: Have you had treatment for erectile dysfunction? Did it work?
Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence) - Share Your Experience Question: Please share you or your partner's experience with erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence) - Risk Factors Question: What were your risk factors for erectile dysfunction (impotence)?
Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence) - Surgery Question: What type of surgery did you or your partner have for erectile dysfunction (impotence)? Was it effective?