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Never have two letters struck more fear into men than ED. And understandably so—complete erectile dysfunction affects five percent of men in their 40s, and shoots up to 15 percent of men in their 70s. Meanwhile, 50 percent of men in their 50s suffer from mild or moderate ED, increasing in 10-percent increments every decade (60 percent in their 60s, 70 percent in their 70s, etc.). It’s no wonder that drugs like Viagra and Cialis made such a huge impact when they were introduced.
But these drugs are only quick fixes—they don’t get to the root of the problem. Now, there’s a new hope for a more permanent fix: GAINSWave.
Mark White, a longtime advocate and entrepreneur in the health, wellness, and alternative therapy space was looking for a better solution for ED than Viagra or testosterone supplements. That’s when he began looking into shockwave therapy, which has been popular in Europe for over a decade to treat everything from muscle pain and tendonitis to cellulite and ED. He started GAINSWave, which made shockwave therapy widely available in the US as a longer term solution for ED. “Viagra and testosterone help, but they don’t reverse the signs of aging in the penis,” Dr. Amy Killen, GAINSWave’s chief medical advisor and Salt Lake City provider, explains to Muscle & Fitness.
The science is simple: A high-intensity sound wave is administered to the genitals through a handheld device. This wave causes microtraumas in the tissue that trick the body into thinking it has to heal itself. In response, your body sends out growth factors that recruit stem cells, increase nitric oxide, and increase blood flow to the area to build more blood vessels. “It’s a way to improve the health of the cells and get more blood to the penis using something as non-invasive as soundwaves,” Killen tells us.
As for the procedure itself, Killen says it’s as easy as a “lunchtime treatment,” with no downtime or adverse side effects. Numbing cream is applied to the penis, which makes the procedure completely painless. A doctor, nurse, or GAINSWave technician administers soundwave therapy using a wand-like device over the course of 30 minutes. The patient can immediately go back to work or their everyday life, and once the numbness from the cream wears off in a couple of hours, they can even have sex. Danny Vega, proprietor of Fat Feuled Family and self-described “biohacker” concurs. “It was a great experience from beginning to end,” he says. “I had a thorough consult beforehand, and each procedure was extremely non eventful. No pain or discomfort, and the results were instant.”
Standard treatments are broken into three weeks, twice a week, for a total of six sessions. And depending on their response or the severity of their issues, patients can return for less frequent maintenance treatments.
While erectile dysfunction is the primary indication for GAINSWave treatments, it also has other benefits. Shockwave therapy has been shown to help with Peyronie’s disease, a scarring of the penis caused by injury or trauma, that can cause pain, significant curvature, and erectile problems. Patients also turn to GAINSWave simply to optimize their sexual function or prevent ED further down the line.
“Most men notice an improvement in blood flow after approximately three sessions,” Killen says. “They start waking up with morning erections again and many have told me they felt a sensation of increased blood flow and ‘waking up down there.’” After three months, most patients reported improvements in firmness, staying power, reliability, sensitivity, shortened refractory period, and anecdotally, increase in size. (However, the treatment hasn’t been researched for increasing size and shouldn’t be used for that purpose.) Studies found that 91 percent of men were still seeing these benefits after a year, and 50 percent after two years.
“As soon as the numbing cream wore off, I instantly felt much more sensation down there than ever before,” Vega agrees. “I guess the only downside is that I do get spontaneous erections much more often, and that is something I have to be aware of nowadays.”
Killen says there aren’t any risks involved, but cautions anyone who is taking high doses of blood thinners that the procedure can cause bruising.
Currently, there are over 400 doctors in the GAINSWave network who have treated over 10,000 patients. Most patients are between the ages of 30 to 60, but Killen has seen patients in their 70s and beyond. “Across our GAINSWave network, we’re looking at about 80 to 90 percent of men reporting improvement with the series of treatments,” Killen says. “Which is pretty remarkable for something that has no downtime or adverse side effects.”
But the benefits reach beyond the physical benefits, Killen explains. “I’ve been in this integrative and anti-aging field of medicine for a number of years, and this is one of the more exciting advancements I’ve come across.,” she says. “Some patients come in feeling pretty hopeless, but seeing them later and seeing the improvements they’ve made—it can be really amazing. Seeing improvements in their erectile function not only brings men closer to their partner, but they see improvements in their confidence. It’s interesting how sexual health has all of these benefits outside of just their relationship.”
Vega has experienced these far-reaching benefits firsthand. “My libido is up, my confidence is up, and since both my wife and I are enjoying the benefits, we are also much more active.”
GAINSWave begins at $3,000 for a series of six treatments. Visit gainswave.com to learn more.