- Erectile dysfunction or impotence leads to the inability of men to get an erection.
- Stem cell therapy has proved to be an effective potential treatment for erectile dysfunction.
- Around 8 out of 21 men were found to have improvements in sexual functions.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability of men to maintain an erection during intercourse. A recent study finds stem cell therapy to be a promising treatment for erectile dysfunction as it could restore sexual functions in men.
Stem cell therapy may involve injecting the patient's own cells derived from abdominal fat cells from the erectile tissue of the penis.
‘Stem cell therapy could be an effective therapy to restore sexual functions in men.’
Dr. Martha Haahr, Odense University Hospital, and his research team found that within 6 months of the stem cell therapy, around 8 out of the 21 men were found to restore sexual functions.
The research findings were found to European Association of Urology's annual conference which was held in London and United Kingdom.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases, found around 12% of men who were under the age of 60 and 22 % of men between 60 and 69, were found to have erectile dysfunction.
Improvement in Sexual Functions
The first phase of the clinical trial tested stem cell therapy on 21 men who had erectile dysfunction due to prostate cancer.
In stem cell therapy, the abdominal fat cells were extracted from each man through liposuction. The fat cells were isolated from the stem cells and injected into the corpus cavernosum of the penis (a spongy tissue of the penis that is filled with blood during an erection).
The erectile function of the patients was also assessed using the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) questionnaire before and after the stem cell therapy procedure.
The IIEF score of 5-7 represents severe erectile dysfunction, while 12-16 shows mild to moderate erectile dysfunction and 22-25 has no erectile dysfunction.
Erectile function was found to improve with stem cell therapy in all 21 men. The IIEF score was found to be 12 after six months of treatment.
The study findings reported that eight of the 21 men engaged in spontaneous sexual activity, six months after stem cell therapy. The outcome was evident even after 12 months of the treatment.
Dr. Haahr said, "What we have done establishes that this technique can lead to men recovering a spontaneous erection - in other words, without the use of other medicines, injections, or implants."
He said, "We are the first to use a man's own fat stem cells as a treatment for erectile dysfunction in a clinical trial. The technique has been trialed in animal work, but this is the first time stem cell therapy has allowed patients to recover sufficient erectile function to enable intercourse."
Erectile dysfunction in men can be caused by various factors like
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Prostate surgery
- Psychological issues - anxiety, stress, depression
Treatment for erectile dysfunction includes phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE5), injections. However, these treatments may have significant side effects.
Facts on Erectile Dysfunction
- One out of ten adults may suffer from erectile dysfunction on a long-term basis.
- Erectile dysfunction can cause emotional problems due to unfulfilled sex life.
- Stress, anxiety, and depression may make it difficult to attain or keep an erection.
Erectile Dysfunction - (https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction )