Botox to overcome erectile dysfunction! Injections directly into the penis ‘can help impotent men’
- Botox has shown ‘clear benefit’ for men with erectile dysfunction
- Belgian urologists reviewed seven studies involving more than 360 men
- The drug is currently not approved for erectile dysfunction in the UK or the US
It might be known to smooth out wrinkles.
But scientists say Botox could also ease erectile difficulties in men.
Injecting impotent men directly into their penis relaxes the organ, allowing blood to rush into it.
Belgian urologists said the treatment showed “clear benefit”, although further studies are needed.
The jab only seemed to work for three months.
About half of men suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.
Botox may help treat men with erectile dysfunction, study finds. Belgian urologists say the treatment could be effective as an ‘almost permanent’ treatment for the problem, although further studies are needed
What is the erection hardness scale?
Doctors use a four-point scale to assess the strength of erections.
The scale is self-reported and depends on the opinion of the man.
It is measured as follows:
0: the penis does not grow;
1: the penis is larger but not hard;
2: the penis is hard but not hard enough for penetration;
3: the penis is hard enough for penetration but not completely hard;
4: the penis is completely hard and completely rigid
NHS doctors are currently not allowed to give Botox to impotent men, despite studies suggesting it helps.
Instead, they are usually given drugs to lower blood pressure or statins, as the difficulties tend to be caused by circulatory problems.
Viagra can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription, while Cialis, Levitra and Spedra require a doctor’s approval.
Botox is also not approved in the United States, although it is offered in some private clinics.
New research, published in the journal Urology, reviewed seven studies on Botox and erectile dysfunction.
The studies, involving 362 men, date back to the 1990s and included human and animal data.
The review did not specify whether all the men even had erectile dysfunction or the severity of their cases.
Botox or a placebo was injected into the base of their penis.
Effectiveness was measured using the erection hardness scale.
It quantifies erection strength on a four-point scale, ranging from zero (penis not growing) to four (penis completely hard and completely rigid).
They also measured penile blood flow with ultrasound and interviewed the men to determine the extent of their erectile dysfunction before and after treatment.
One study showed that about half of people who received Botox responded positively on all three counts up to three months later.
But the effects had dissipated after six months.
Another showed that 40% of impotent men who received an injection were able to have sex three months after treatment.
The team, led by Dr Rawad Abou Zahr, a urologist at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, said all studies have shown that Botox helps improve erection problems.
Writing in the journal, they said: “In terms of the duration of benefit from BoNT-A injections, the above studies described a clear benefit within the first three months of treatment.
“This advantage seems to be regressing to reach the six-month period. This highlights the importance of maintenance regimens in these patients.
But they said the small sample size meant more studies were needed and that Botox should not be dispensed to emergency rooms until clinical trials are complete.
Botox is thought to improve erections by temporarily relaxing the smooth muscle in the walls of the blood vessels in the penis.
It blocks the nerve signals that typically contract these muscles, which means more blood can enter the organ.