“I am 36 years old and I am a quadriplegic in a wheelchair from a taxi accident 4 years ago. I can get an erection but weaker than before. Also I cannot feel my umtondo (penis). Sometimes it stays hard enough so I can finish, other times it goes soft too quickly. Ihave tried three types of pills prescribed by my doctor but they don’t work for me and they are expensive. I don’t have medical aid. Is there something else I can use that will help me? Please, I am desperate. We used to have such great sex!”
It is unfortunately true that all of the interventions available to address erectile dysfunction are expensive and most are not provided for, or covered, by medical aid.
A possible reason why the pills you refer to do not work for you is because you still need to be sexually stimulated and aroused after taking them. There are two ways that we are usually stimulated sexually:
1 Psychogenic: stimulation received via our senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch) which is interpreted by the brain and processed as arousing. Fantasy and memory are other brain messages relayed via the spinal cord to the erectile tissue and circulatory system that feeds the penis and creates an erection. If your spinal cord has been injured these messages do not reach the penis and it leaves you feeling aroused in your head but with no effect on your penis.
2 Reflexogenic: stimulation by touch - directly on the penis and scrotum by hands, mouth or vibrator. Again, if the penis has no sensation because of a spinal cord injury, the stimulation will not be felt and no erection, or avery weak erection, will result.
As I have already said, for the pills to work sexual arousal is required and in most cases of complete spinal cord injury neither of the above forms of arousal are possible and the pills will therefore not work well or at all.
This leaves the spinal cord injured person in a predicament and assistance is necessary to achieve an erection.
Having worked for many years with spinal cord injured clients who have problems with getting a dependable erection I can suggest with confidence that you try a vacuum pump. But beware! There are a number of unreliable, and potentially dangerous, pumps available at some adult shops that are sold as ‘penis enlargers’. Stay away from these!
There is one manufacturer in South Africa who provides a reliable vacuum pump manufactured specifically to address erectile dysfunction patented in South Africa and several countries overseas. There are equivalent pumps available in the overseas markets but they are much more expensive than the local product which sells at a once off price equivalent to about 12 of the pills you tried before.
The local product, VACURECT, is sold in a kit form in a handy carry bag. The kit consists of the vacuum pump device, a tumbler with a set of 10 silicone rings (covering a full range of sizes), lubricants for the pump and the rings and a user friendly instruction leaflet.
It is important to read and follow the user instructions carefully as some queries I have handled have resulted from incorrect use. The pump, if used correctly, is extremely reliable and will produce an acceptable erection everytime.
A common problem is that users believe they will get an even bigger erection by using smaller constriction rings. This is not true. The ring should just fit snuggly over the head of the limp penis. An adequate amount of water-based lubricant must be applied to the ring, and the penis, prior to use and if there is pubic hair growing on the base of the penis it should be removed by shaving or waxing. This will ensure a proper seal and prevent loss of erection during intercourse.
At least 30 pumps are required once the device has been placed over the head of the limp penis. This causes air to be expelled from the pump housing and the penis to be sucked into the housing and engorged with blood, resulting in an erection.
After pumping, leave the device over the penis for one minute to allow the erection to complete.
After one minute the vacuum seal can be released by gently separating the ring from the pump. When the pump is removed the ring must remain in position at the base of the penis to ensure that the erection remains. A condom can now also be fitted.
It is important to remove the constriction ring after 30 minutes to allow blood circulation and pressure in the penis to normalize. The penis will become limp and soft when the ring is removed but, if you need to continue intercourse, wait for a couple of minutes, then apply the pump and the ring again.
The only contra indications for using this device is if there are open sores or cuts and abrasions on the shaft or head of the penis, or if the penis is considerably deformed or misaligned by Peyronie’s disease. If you are on anticoagulant medication use of the pump is also not recommended.
If the Vacurect device is used correctly and kept in good working condition it will provide erections, on demand, for the rest of your life - despite the initial costly purchase price.