Stem Cell Therapy for ED

Stem Cell Therapy for ED: Definition, Methods, Cost

Erectile dysfunction affects more than 30 million American men nowadays. The disease has become a serious issue for men in their 30s. A Massachusetts Male Aging Study based on the IIEF (International Index of Erectile Function) questionnaire detected a high prevalence of impotence among young men. Although ED is common, it’s not a part of normal aging. Stem cell therapy for ED is an effective way to combat this disease. We’ve prepared some useful facts to learn all the peculiarities of stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction.

Causes of erectile dysfunction

A lot of men experience trouble with getting and keeping an erection. When it happens occasionally, it may not be a problem. If erectile dysfunction becomes routine and troublesome, it could be a signal for health issues. The most common causes for impotence include both physiological and psychological.

 Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction: ED causes
Heart disease, diabetes and obesity, endocrine system dysfunction, and associated diseases can cause erectile dysfunction as they affect vessels and nerves that control the erection. Besides, medication treatment can also provoke ED. Among the drugs that influence erectile function are:

  • drugs to lower blood pressure,
  • heart medications such as digoxin,
  • anxiety, stress, and depression treatment medications,
  • opioid pain medications,
  • chemotherapy,
  • hormone drugs.

Erectile dysfunction is rarely the primary disorder. In 90% of cases, sexual dysfunction is physiological. Psychological causes of the disease are less common. Still, they’re to be considered in any case of ED. Psychological causes include fear of sexual intercourse, guilt, performance anxiety, stress, and depression.

As a person becomes older, the erection might require more time to occur. Bad habits and an unhealthy lifestyle can accelerate the onset of ED. Smoking, alcohol and food abuse, and lack of physical activity promote erectile dysfunction.

Currently available approaches to ED treatment

Modern medicine provides enough ways to combat ED. Depending on the condition, the options for erectile dysfunction treatment include:

  • Oral medications. Pills to control erectile function stimulate the production of nitric oxide – the compound in the body that induces vessel relaxation and increases blood pressure. These medications don’t automatically cause an erection, sexual stimulation is still needed. FDA-approved ED medications are Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), and Avanafil (Stendra).
  • Injectable medications and suppositories. Injections or suppositories, as injected directly into the penis, trigger an instant reaction and may be more efficient than oral drugs. Alprostadil is the most widespread injectable medication for ED.
  • Vacuum devices and implants. In cases where oral or injectable medicine isn’t suitable, the healthcare provider will recommend using vacuum devices. Vacuum devices pump the blood to the penis and an elastic ring that remains on a shaft, prevents blood outflow long enough to have coitus. If the ED is severe, surgery may also be a solution. Implants allow a person to control the erection by adjusting the position of the penis manually.
  • Psychological counseling. Sometimes psychological tension can cause erectile dysfunction. Dealing with anxiety, stress, and depression can improve erectile function. Using medications for psychological treatment can lower libido and cause ED, so it’s better to consult a professional, before taking antidepressants.

How to treat erectile dysfunction: stem cell therapy and other ways
Erectile dysfunction therapy should be guided by a professional, self-treatment may cause unexpected health deterioration. Only a practitioner can prescribe medications for treating ED, based on a preliminary examination of a patient. Modern ED pills approved by the government don’t cure erectile dysfunction. Each of the above medications allows one to keep an erection for approximately 30-60 minutes, but they need to be applied before every intercourse. Keep in mind that using these drugs too often is usually forbidden and you need to read medication instructions before taking it.

Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction

Modern approaches to treating erectile dysfunction have a temporary effect and produce side effects. Are there any alternatives? Scientists work on developing stem cell therapy for ED, to eliminate the disease’s cause, and not replace natural body functions with medication.

What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a promising product of medical engineering that might shift the paradigm from reactive medicine to regenerative (or reparative) medicine. Stem cells are so precious because they can transform into any type of cell and restore the damaged tissues of any human organ. Nowadays stem cell therapy, approved by the FDA, is used to treat diseases linked to blood production issues. Scientists believe that stem cells will be able to cure diseases from impotence to Alzheimer’s. That is why clinical trials are conducted in different medical fields, including urology.

How does stem cell treatment for ED work?

The main goal of using stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction is to fix damaged penile tissue. First, a specialist should retrieve stem cells from the adipose tissue or bone marrow and cultivate them. Then, stem cells are administered through an injection to a penis shaft to target spongy tissue called corpus cavernosum. The injections can be performed in 3 sessions with a 45 days gap or 2 days in a row. The restoration of sexual function is observed within six months after the therapy.

stem cell treatment for erectile dysfunction
Stem cell ED therapy: clinical trials

Researchers from Odense University Hospital in Denmark presented their findings of stem cell therapy for ED at the European Association of Urology’s annual conference in 2017. For the first phase trial target patients were 21 men who suffered from ED and didn’t respond to traditional ED treatment. The results of the therapy have shown that the sexual function of all men has improved, and 8 of 21 men have regained sexual function in full. The study reported result preservation for 12 months and no side effects were found. Stem cell therapy for ED promises a long-term solution and is worth studying.

Stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction cost

The price of one stem cell injection varies in the range of USD 2,000 – 10,000. There are several factors that influence stem cell erectile dysfunction cost:

  • patient’s personal needs,
  • type of stem cell treatment for ED,
  • the source of stem cells,
  • clinic regulations.

Many clinics offer a single injection of stem cells which will require one-time payment but can be less effective than repeated sessions. Besides, clinics with strict regulations and product safety requirements usually have higher prices. That is why stem cell erectile dysfunction cost is less in countries such as India or Mexico in comparison with European countries, where there are strict treatment protocols.

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