What is Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and What Causes It?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection to engage in sexual intercourse. It is a prevailing health problem that can seriously impact the quality of life for both partners in an intimate relationship. It is currently estimated that 30 million men suffer from different stages of ED in the United States, alone.
Any number of physical and psychological conditions can cause or contribute to ED. They include:
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Prostate Surgery
- Depression & Low self-esteem
Current ED Treatments Carry Risks
Currently, science has a handful of treatments for ED, including PDE5 inhibitors (such as sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil), injections, and penile implants, but they all carry significant side effects.
In the search for a side-effect free cure for ED, researchers have turned to regenerative medicine. In this area of medicine, stem cell therapy has shown some promising results.
Research Trials in Rats Shows Favorable Outcomes
In a total of 16 laboratory studies on rats, stem cells were derived from bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), or skeletal muscle. The stem cells were implanted via intracavernous injection, which has recently been shown to have systemic effects.
In general, these studies had favorable outcomes, but there were some disappointing findings. It seems that the injected stem cells rapidly escaped the penis, and homed into bone marrow. The interesting part of that finding was that the stem cells had both systemic anti-diabetic effects while providing prolonged anti-ED effects. It was determined that more studies needed to be done.
An Interesting Research Project Shows Promising Results for Humans
In March of 2017, a study lead by researcher Dr. Martha Haahr of Odense University Hospital in Denmark on stem cells and ED provided some hopeful results.
Dr. Haahr and her colleagues found that, within 6 months of injecting the patients’ own stem cells – derived from abdominal fat cells – directly into the erectile tissue of their penises, 8 of the 21 men were able to engage in spontaneous sexual intercourse. These 21 men were impotent as a result of prostate surgery, and had not responded to common ED medications. Of the 21, 14 were still urinary continent after their prostate surgery. When you take that fact into consideration, it is more impressive to note that more than half of those men who were still continent regained sexual function, effectively reversing their ED. And, this treatment may be long term, as 57 percent of the men who regained erectile function maintained that ability for 12 months after that single injection, and continue functioning today.
It seems that the stem cells were able to accomplish this by preventing oxygen loss, increasing blood flow into and out of the penis, helping the men get and maintain an erection.
Can I get Stem Cell Therapy to Restore My Erectile Dysfunction?
While the results of this research are very promising, they are only preliminary. More studies need to be done on larger groups of men to determine what the findings will really mean in the real world.
But, the world of regenerative medicine is new, and promising in its offering of effective treatments for ED, and many other conditions.
If you would like more information on how stem cell therapy might improve your condition, call National Stem Cell Centers. Our office in New York City can be reached by calling (646) 448-0427, or you can reach our Long Island, NY office at (516) 403-1457. Call today to find out if you are a good candidate for stem cell therapy, and to schedule your complimentary consultation.