Stents are devices usually used to prop up a blood vessel or other tubule within the body. It most notable for keeping blood vessels open to prevent a heart attack, but is used to relieve or prevent other obstructions as well. The hard, supporting tube has been considered as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, and one study has tested it as such. There are many causes to ED but one of the most common is the onset of heart disease.
Plaque builds up in the arteries including those that lead to the penis, restricting blood flow and making erection formation difficult. In 70% of cases atherosclerosis or fat and cholesterol buildup in the vasculature is the cause. It is thought that a stent could open up these arteries, return blood flow to how it was, and rejuvenate the erectile process. So are stents an effective treatment for ED in the case of a cardiovascular cause?
One small study found some success. In those cases where the pudendal artery was limiting blood flow, a hard, drug-coated stent much like the kind placed in the heart was used. It was a very successful treatment but only for a small, minority of candidates, 8% of the 383 recruited in total. Of these, blood flow and normal erectile functioning was restored.
More research has to be conducted to see how this procedure can be made successful in more such cases. It is estimated that 30 million Americans suffer from erectile dysfunction, and about 300 million worldwide. Researchers say around 3% of the population suffer from the condition. It is difficult to know exact figures.
Despite so many treatment options and the stigma surrounding ED receding, lots of men still do not see a doctor or urologist about the issue. That is not good as many times a more concerning condition is causing it. Be sure to address the issue with your doctor or an urologist should you are suffering from ED.