Is This the New Viagra?

Since becoming available in 1998, Viagra has been a godsend for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). Now, the next great advancement in fighting ED may be imminent: A new treatment of shock-wave therapy may free you from penis problems for up to 2 years.

Previous research has found that shock waves to the heart can help new blood vessels form to treat ticker trouble, and doctors say the same method may work to alleviate ED caused by restricted blood flow. Docs use a wand attached to a machine to send small shocks directly to the penis. “It emits energy that increases growth factor levels, which in turn produce new blood vessels,” explains Vijay Sangar, M.D., consultant urologist at Spire Manchester Hospital in England, who uses ED1000 Therapy in his practice.

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The new blood vessels address the issue of poor blood flow, fixing the problem at the root. And while shock waves directly to your shaft sound painful, Dr. Sangar assures there is no pain and minimal side effects.

The ED1000, which was developed by researchers in Israal, hasn’t yet been brought to America, and even outside the U.S. the technology isn’t commonplace. In Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia, most guys with performance problems will have to seek out a specialist or sexual health clinic.

But the treatment is only a few years old, and the results so far are extremely promising: “The shock wave therapy works in two-thirds of folks with vascular or diabetes-induced ED,” Dr. Sangar says. Viagra, on the other hand, is helpful in 80 percent of ED cases, with other pills and injections slightly less dependable—but these only treat the symptoms, whereas the shock wave therapy tries to cure the problem, Dr. Sangar adds.

Treatment includes 12 weeks of shock-wave sessions, after which a guy ideally doesn’t need to worry for at least 2 years—which some men might prefer to a sex life dictated by a prescription supply.

Until the method is available in America, treat your vascular ED the same way you would a bad heart: with plenty of blood-pumping exercise and a diet packed with healthy oils. For more smart habits, here are the best ways to protect your erection.

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