Sexual Wellness Resource Center
For Adults over 50.

Penis pumps

Older Man
By Michael Bates, M.D.

Man SmilingA penis pump is one of the few treatment options for a male who is unable to get or maintain an erection sufficient for penetration, erectile dysfunction. With pump use you can get a strong erection. Pumps consist of a clear plastic cylinder that fits over the flaccid penis, a hand or battery operated pump, and a constriction ring, a band that fits around the base of the penis once it is erect.

Impotence is common problem, especially following prostate surgery and in older men. Meds are commonly used for treatment of erectile dysfunction.

  • Oral meds like Viagra and Cialis
  • Medication inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis
  • Penis injections

A penis pump might be a good option if these treatments cause side effects, don’t work, or aren’t safe for you. It is also an option in straightening the penis of those with Peyronie’s disease. It can improve or stabilize the curvature and reduce the need for surgery.

You can buy a penis pump with or without prescription. With prescription they tend to be more expensive. The pumps are all basically the same. Whatever model you buy, make sure that it has a vacuum limiter, which prevents the pressure from getting too high and damaging the penis.

Caution, magazine and internet ads claim that penis pump use increases penis size, there is no scientific evidence to prove this. The purpose of the pump is to achieve normal sized erections for those with erectile dysfunction.

Three models that get high consumer ratings are the Hydromax X-Series , the Bathmate , and the X4Labs. I recommend the least expensive, and make sure that it comes with a ring.

The take home message: pumps achieve satisfactory erections in the majority of users, pumps are effective, the risk of side effects or complications is low, and the one time cost is lower than purchasing medication over the long run.

Thank you to Mayo Clinic patient care and health information, www.mayoclinic.org.

About the Author

Michael Bates, M.D.

Dr Bates practiced obstetrics and gynecology for 34 years in Wichita, Kansas, until his retirement in 2011.

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