Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Available treatments for ED provide only symptomatic relief, which is for the most part temporary. Regenerative therapies such as Low Intensity Shockwave, Platelet-Rich Plasma, and Stem Cell therapy can potentially provide a “cure” for ED by reversing the underlying pathology of ED rather than just treating the symptoms. Low Intensity Shockwave therapy is the most evidence based at this point and is thought to act by improving penile blood flow, repairing previous nerve damage, and activating stem cells. Stem Cell therapy takes advantage of the self-replicative potential of stem cells to create new corporal tissue, but also to recruit host cells and angiogenic factors to stimulate endogenous repair. Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy uses concentrated growth factors that already exist within the bloodstream to repair damaged nerves and increase penile blood flow. The use of combination restorative therapy may provide an additive or synergistic benefit greater than any one therapy alone because of its overlapping mechanisms of action on the penis but is a topic that remains to be studied.
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RR is a consultant for Acerus Pharmaceuticals, Boston Scientific, Coloplast, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Metuchen, and Nestle Health. All other authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
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Towe, M., Peta, A., Saltzman, R.G. et al. The use of combination regenerative therapies for erectile dysfunction: rationale and current status. Int J Impot Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-021-00456-1