According to reports in Today, low-intensity shockwave therapy is now available at National University Hospital (NUH), Singapore General Hospital(SGH), and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital! Previously it was only available as an ED treatment at Gleneagles Hospital.
But does it work? Well, according to 43-year-old sales executive Mr Tan- who did not want to give his real name- yes.
Five years ago, sex became “very stressful” for Mr Tan because of his inability to maintain an erection.”I did not know if sex that night was going to be satisfactory or if I would be a party pooper,” he bemoaned.
Mr Tan, who has a girlfriend, saw a general practitioner and found relief in “yellow and blue pills” that he popped an hour before sex.
Well-known by their trade names, Viagra, Cialis or Levitra, these pills belong to a class of medication known as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, which block the PDE-5 enzyme found in blood vessel walls. They help the smooth muscles of the penis to relax and increase blood flow to the organ, but are also associated with side effects such as headaches and flushing.
But two years ago, the pills stopped working after Mr Tan had an angioplasty procedure to unblock an artery, so he turned to second-line treatments – penile injection therapy and mechanical aids.
He would inject small amounts of medicine into the side of his genitals several minutes before sex to boost blood flow into the organ.
Or he would use a vacuum device to draw blood into the penis, then slip a constriction ring onto its base to maintain the erection.
While these worked for him, he felt that they were cumbersome and took away the spontaneity of sex.
“We always tried to plan for sex and, even then, I always had doubts about my erections.”
Mr Tan was also offered a penile prosthesis – an implant that facilitates an erection – but declined the option as it involves surgery.
In June, he was offered fresh hope by senior consultant urologist Peter Lim, who runs a practice at Gleneagles Hospital.
Twice a week, for three weeks, Mr Tan had low-intensity shock waves delivered to five areas of his penis to stimulate new blood vessels to grow. The treatment can be repeated if necessary.
The exact mechanism of the low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy remains unclear, but the aim is to restore the erectile mechanism for natural or spontaneous erections.
It is the latest advancement in erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer launched Viagra in 1998.
The outpatient procedure does not require any downtime or anaesthesia.
Mr Tan returned to work after each 20-minute session, which left him with only a tingling sensation.
He said his sex life has been “good so far” and is close to what he was able to achieve in his 20s.
These days, he has sex twice a week, but hopes to “rev this up to six times a week”, he declared.