Penile Injections vs. Acupuncture for Erectile Dysfunction
By Danielle Brunner LAc
Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about Penile Injections for Erectile Dysfunction. This entails a diabetic syringe type needle (much larger than an Acupuncture needle) injected directly into the corpus cavernosum of the penis (injected at 10am & 2pm while looking at your penis) when a man wants to have intercourse. As a result, erections can last anywhere from 30min to 2hrs.3
The active ingredients entail a 3 drug cocktail: alprostadil (prostaglandin), papaverine (vasodilator & found in Opium Poppy plant) & phentolamine (alpha blocker). It’s compounded by a pharmacy in a sterile environment, then frozen and can be used up to 6 months.
3 drug cocktail used for Penile Injections and side effects:
- Alprostadil: penile pain, bleeding at the site of injection, and prolonged erection
- Papaverine: ventricular tachycardia, constipation, vertigo, flushing of the face, excessive sweating, headache & cutaneous eruptions (looks like herpes & can spread throughout the body)
- Phentolamine: Hypotension, fast heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, dizziness, stuffy nose & flushing
Typical costs for penile injections range anywhere from $2400-$3700 annually. Some of my patient have described the appointments to me…. “First, They Take A Complete Blood Count Sample To See If You Can Handle The Drugs. After You’ve Had A Couple Doctor Visits (Approx $300 Each) To Evaluate If You Are A Good Candidate, They Give You Your ‘Syringe Kit’ And Show You How To Inject Yourself; 10am And 2pm Directly Into The Penis. You’ll Receive An Injection By The Doctor First To Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Side Effects. Erections Occur Within 10 Min And May Last Up To 2hrs. You’re Required To Stay At The Doctor Until Your Erection Goes Down”. Then you’re off to the races… so romantic!
Wow! Let me tell you why Acupuncture for ED is a much better, relaxing alternative.
Acupuncture needles are hair-like, stainless steel, sterile & each needle used one time, discarded in sharps container. The treatment is specifically designed to bring more blood flow to the pelvic area and penis. Diagnosis includes: palpating 3 pulse positions on each wrist (tells me information about the Qi flow in your organs) and looking at your tongue.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) we want to know how your Qi is in your body. What is Qi? Life force energy. It travels in body fluids and blood & is vital for you to be alive).
Placement of the needles are according to your TCM diagnosis. They are carefully inserted into the Acupuncture point located distally (hands & feet) and mostly on the torso. The goal is to bring more Qi & blood flow to the penis. Acupuncture points are specifically designed to move Qi and blood.
Your first treatment…
we’ll talk about your health and expectations. I’ll feel your pulse, look at your tongue and you’ll relax on the table for about 30 min. while needles are carefully placed throughout your body. I’ll leave so you can relax and after the treatment, needles out & you’ll feel better than when you arrived. A little lighter, calmer and experience more joy. Most likely you relaxed long enough to fall asleep during the treatment and will sleep better overall.
What does it Cost? How many treatments?
Initial visit with me is $135 for 75 min & $85 for 50 min follow up. So much more cost effective and less painful than penile injections. (approx. $1070/yr).
Most likely you will start to see results within 3-4 treatments (daily morning erections). The complete treatment commitment is for 12 visits once a week. Most men report 100% better after completing the 3 months. Some as little as 5 treatments! Men don’t need to come back for about a year & sometimes never.