External penile prostheses for erectile dysfunction (ED)

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For people with erectile dysfunction , having a satisfying sex life can be challenging. One possible solution is an external penile prosthesis, a device that can be used by people who want to be able to penetrate their partner without surgery or medication. Options include penis sleeves and penis supports.

External penile prostheses are readily available and do not require medical intervention (although consultation with a doctor or sex therapist can be helpful). Before buying, it is important to understand how the devices work and which ones might be the most suitable for you.

Get Medical Information / Emily Roberts

Types of prostheses

There are basically two types of external penile prostheses, one that is placed on the penis and the other that is attached to the shaft of the penis. External penile prostheses are not medical equipment themselves. Some of these can be purchased online or in specialized sex shops. Others can be obtained from a doctor or sexual health professional.

Penis sleeve

The penis sheath, as the name suggests, is a hollow device shaped like a penis that fits over the penis. In the world of sex toys, they are commonly known as penis enlargement .

Penis sleeves are usually flexible and come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Some have bumps or vibrators for increased sexual stimulation.

There are several different penis accessories to choose from:

  • Full Sheath – This is the sleeve that extends from the base of the shaft and completely covers the glans (glans) of the penis. Some are made of hard plastic or silicone, while others are more flexible. In some devices, the rod will have a ring or hole through which the testicles are inserted to secure the sleeve and prevent it from slipping.
  • Partial Pod – Similar to a full pod, but leaves the heads exposed, increasing the stimulation of the insertion partner. The cuff sometimes has ribs or boulders to stimulate the insertion partner.
  • Belt holster – Also known as a "strap," this device is most often made in the shape of a penis and used with straps that look like straps. As with other devices, the penis is inserted into the hollow core, after which the straps are securely attached.

A 2017 study published in the journal Translational Andrology and Urology reported that some cisgender men can achieve orgasm when wearing a penile sleeve despite severe erectile dysfunction.

If you are looking for a penis sleeve, make sure the product says that it is suitable for use with a flaccid penis or that it can be used by people with erectile dysfunction.

Penis support device

This external penile device, marketed under brands such as Elator, Erektor, and others, is less visible than a sleeve and may be ideal for men with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

The device uses two custom-made rings that are placed around the base and glans of the penis, which are then connected by a rigid rod. This creates a simulated erection that can be hard enough for penetration. It also provides greater stimulation to the insertion partner than the sleeve and a greater likelihood of orgasm .

Guide to Talking to a Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction

Get our printable guide to your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

Who can benefit

Erectile dysfunction can occur for a variety of reasons, from cardiovascular disease and age to radical prostatectomy . Cisgender men who do not respond to other erectile dysfunction treatments may benefit from a penile prosthesis, as well as transgender men who have undergone phalloplasty .

Transgender people and trans women with erectile dysfunction from common causes or estrogen use can also benefit from these products.

External penile prostheses can be ideal for people who are not suitable for other erectile dysfunction treatments (for medical or psychological reasons) or who cannot afford more expensive medical interventions.

Despite the potential benefits, external penile prosthetics are not cheap. The devices range in price from $ 200 to $ 700 and may not work for everyone. Also, health insurance rarely covers these devices.

This can make buying a penile prosthesis a bit risky. Therefore, you should do your research and speak with your doctor or sex therapist, if possible, to make sure your expectations are real. That said, many couples find sex toys exciting, and that alone can justify a purchase.

If you find an external penile prosthesis that works for you, you can consider its value as a worthy investment in your sex life.

Penile prosthesis and relationships

The most important factor when choosing an external penile prosthesis is how well it suits your sex life. This requires not only a sincere recognition of your own sexual desires (and limitations), but also of your partner. If using the device is embarrassing or uncomfortable for you or your partner, it is unlikely that it will work.

The only way to solve these problems is by talking about them. Being honest about your needs and wants may lead your partner to adopt an external prosthesis as a natural part of sexual play, rather than as a "fetish. "

Other treatments for erectile dysfunction

Sometimes people think that Viagra is the only form of treatment for erectile dysfunction, but this is simply not true. In addition to PDE inhibitors such as Viagra (Sildenafil), Levitra (Vardenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil), and Stendra (Avanafil), there are other options that should be discussed with your urologist , including:

  • Testosterone supplements , often an effective therapy for people diagnosed with hypogonadism (low testosterone levels) While increasing testosterone levels alone cannot solve erectile dysfunction problems, there is synergy or greater erectile function benefits when testosterone drugs are used with erectile dysfunction drugs.
  • Intracavernous injections , in which a drug called Caverject (alprostadil) Trimix (papaverine, phentolamine, and prostaglandin) is injected into the shaft to increase blood flow to the penis.
  • Internal penile prostheses in which a flexible or inflatable device is surgically implanted on the shaft of the penis for an erection "on demand".

Get the word of drug information

Sex isn't just about the penis. Just as safe sex works best when couples find ways to eroticize it, so does an erectile prosthesis.

After all, erectile dysfunction doesn't have to be a limitation. It can be an invitation to explore new avenues of intimacy and pleasure as long as you keep an open mind and an open path for communication.

Frequently asked questions

  • All surgical procedures carry some risk, but penile implants have a high success rate (90% to 95%) and a low risk of complications. However, some potential issues to be aware of include uncontrolled bleeding after surgery, infection, scar tissue, erosion or displacement of the implanted material, and mechanical failure of the pump that inflates the prosthesis.

  • Comfort and functionality are the most important things. There are many bells and whistles that penis sleeve and extension manufacturers may advertise, but rest assured, these features will be convenient for both you and your partner. You should also do your research to make sure the item is designed for your needs, such as erectile dysfunction support.

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