Erectile dysfunction pumps, also known as penis pumps and erection pumps, offer an alternative treatment option (vacuum therapy) to men who are unable to remedy their ED symptoms with drugs, and do not wish to undergo an invasive surgical procedure. In general, they are regarded as being highly effective (user satisfaction levels are typically in the 80% range), relatively inexpensive, and fairly easy to use. Indeed, with the numerous brands and models on the market, the greatest challenge to new ED pump users often lies in determining which model to buy.
ED Pumps – What to Look For
Before beginning your search for an erectile dysfunction pump, you should first become familiar with a few basics about the vacuum therapy market as a whole, since there are several, potentially-confusing aspects to it. As with any other medical decision, you should also discuss your options with a physician prior to beginning treatment with any device.
ED Pumps vs. Penis Pumps
A common point of confusion is the branding used by some pump manufacturers. To reiterate an earlier point, ED pumps designed for use in vacuum therapy are sometimes referred to as penis pumps. Unfortunately, this is also the branding used for devices whose purpose is to (supposedly) increase the size of a man’s penis.
While similar in appearance and operation, devices sold for the purpose of enlarging the penis are not recommended for use as erectile dysfunction remedies. Not only do they lack the mechanisms that allow the user to maintain an erection long enough to have intercourse, but their quality and effectiveness typically fall short of FDA-approved ED pumps. For this reason, it is imperative to make sure that any penis pump you buy is specifically intended for vacuum therapy.
Hand Pumps vs. Battery Pumps
Erectile dysfunction pumps can be divided into two broad categories based upon their method of operation: hand pumps, and battery pumps. As their names indicate, one is powered by the user squeezing the pump manually to create the vacuum, while the other is battery-powered.
Hand-operated pumps allow the user to gain an erection more quickly, but require good hand strength and dexterity in order to use them properly. They are also generally lighter in weight and significantly less-expensive than their battery-powered counterparts.
Battery pumps, on the other hand, allow the user to adjust the rate at which an erection is achieved, and require no manual dexterity to operate. This makes them the preferred choice among men with arthritis and other conditions that limit hand strength and coordination.
Medical Grade Pumps vs. Common ED Pumps
As you start shopping for ED pumps, you’ll notice that they can be further categorized as either medical grade or non-medical grade devices. This distinction is made based on whether or not the manufacturer has obtained FDA approval for its device, and is reflected most dramatically by differences in price.
Whereas non-medical grade devices can be purchased for as little as $10 (USD), medical-grade erectile dysfunction pumps generally cost anywhere from $200 – 500. On the other hand, the majority of medical-grade devices are covered by Medicare and private insurance, whereas the cheaper alternatives are not.
Your research will probably find that medical-grade devices are almost always guaranteed to produce very high success rates in treating erectile dysfunction symptoms (some claim 98%), and come with strong customer service and support from the manufacturer. Common ED pumps, in comparison, tend to receive far more varied reviews (although some are widely recommended), and virtually no support should the device fail to perform as expected.