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Introduction to Penis Pumps: But I don’t want to use a penis pump!

Updated: Apr 7

Yeah, most guys don’t seem to relish the idea of using a penis pump. However, if you have erectile dysfunction, it’s time to get over yourself and do what’s necessary to ensure the best possible outcome from your treatment. Ask yourself what’s worse, spending a few minutes a day pumping or having problems getting an erection. I can’t answer that question for you, but I want to do everything possible to have a satisfying sex life.


Convincing men with erectile dysfunction to use a penis pump is a lot like convincing people to exercise regularly. Despite knowing the benefits and risks of not doing it, many men will find excuses not to bother. Using a penis pump is neither difficult nor time-consuming; it should be easy to work into your routine. Like most things, once you turn using it into a habit, it’s easy to keep it up. Just keep in mind the benefits come with time and consistency. The longer you do it consistently, the more you will benefit.


Why use a penis pump?


What does a penis pump do?


The penis pump draws blood into the penis using negative pressure. There are two reasons you may want to do this. The first is to achieve an erection for sex, and the second and probably the most important is to rehabilitate the tissues in the penis.


For sex


The most common use of the penis pump is in conjunction with a cock ring to get and maintain an erection for sexual activity. The cock ring is placed at the base of the penis, and the pump fills it with blood, which is trapped by cock ring to maintain the erection.


A word of warning! -Whenever using a cock ring, it is imperative to never keep it on for more than 30 minutes. The cock ring restricts blood flow, and if it’s left on for too long, tissue damage can occur. Never use a cock ring under the influence of drugs or alcohol or under any condition you might fall asleep.


For rehab


Most men with erectile dysfunction will stop getting nocturnal erections. The purpose of nocturnal erections is to get the blood flowing into the penis, allowing the tissues to remain healthy. When this stops happening over time, the tissues become unhealthy and less elastic, making it more challenging to get and maintain an erection.


Regularly using a penis pump allows men with erectile dysfunction to maintain healthy tissues. If the tissues are already unhealthy, rehabilitation is still possible. It may take a while to rehab the tissue, so it’s essential to pump regularly to keep the blood flowing to the tissues. Rehab is a marathon, not a sprint.


Research


The research on using penis pumps for rehabilitation primarily focused on men with prostatectomies. After the surgery, the nerves to the penis are usually traumatized, preventing those men from getting erections.


Because the men are not getting erections, particularly nocturnal erections, a pump keeps the tissues healthy while the nerves heal. Generally, it’s best if the men start using a pump immediately, but even if it’s been years since the surgery, successful rehabilitation is still possible using a penis pump.


The takeaway is that any man not getting erections will have the same issues maintaining healthy tissues, and the penis pump can maintain healthy tissue and rehabilitate unhealthy tissue.


Contra-indications for using a penis pump


Using a pump can be contra-indicated

  • Men on blood-thinning medications,

  • Men with sickle-cell

  • Men with Diabetes, if the blood vessels are compromised

  • Men with any condition prone to bleeding or blood clots


Potential Side effects


When using a penis pump


Petechiae - Pinpoint-sized red dots caused by bleeding under the surface of the skin of the penis.


Bruising - When used incorrectly


When using a pump with a cock ring


Numbness - Penis feels numb, cold, or looks bluish or purple. These side effects can happen when the tension band that fits around the base of your penis is in place.


A feeling of trapped semen or painful ejaculation - Some penis-pump makers create tension rings with a small cutout that might help.


Potential Drawbacks For Sex


Firmness - Erections that don't feel as natural or firm as they used to.


Awkwardness - When first using the device, it can be awkward for you and your partner, and it might take some time to get used to it.


How to use a penis pump


Penis pumps are generally easy to use. There are two general categories of pumps: air and water pumps, and each has different advantages and disadvantages. First, let’s cover the types of penis pumps because there are some differences in how they are used. There are many different designs for penis pumps. Be sure to follow the specific directions for your pump.



Types of penis pumps


Water Pumps


Water pumps, as the name implies, are designed to be used with water. Two popular brands of water pumps are Vaxaid and Bathmate.


Some water pumps, like the Vaxaid, are more versatile in design and can be used in the bath, shower, or sink. Others may require a bath to operate effectively. The design specifics can vary quite a bit, so the pros and cons listed below are generalities.


Pros:

  • Water pumps are considered more therapeutic than air pumps. How much more is an open question.

  • They generally maintain a seal more easily.


Cons:

  • They are generally more complicated to use than air pumps.

  • They require access to water.

  • They are typically more expensive than air pumps.

Air Pumps


Air pumps work with the air and are usually easier to operate. Again the design specifics can vary considerably.


Pros:

  • They are generally easy to use.

  • They are generally less expensive.

  • They are easier to manage when you must travel.

  • They don’t require access to water or a bathroom to use.


Cons:

  • They are considered to be less therapeutic than water pumps, but to what degree is unknown.

  • They usually require a lubricant to help maintain a seal.

Preparation for using a penis pump


Choose the correct size


Whatever pump you choose, make sure you get the correct size.


Manscaping


First, do some manscaping. You don’t have to shave the area, but you want to trim your pubic hair to be short. Regardless of the type of pump, manscaping will help you maintain a better seal. When you start having trouble keeping the seal, you will know it’s time to trim your hair again.


Supplies


Make sure you have the necessary supplies. You will need a timekeeper. Your hands will be busy operating the pump, so you want one that you won’t have to operate manually. I use my phone with an interval timing app. More on that later. You will usually need some lube, mainly when using an air pump, but it can also be helpful with water pumps. It can be useful to have towels available.


Using a water pump


Not all water pumps work the same way, and the specifics of operating them will vary, but here are some general steps.


  1. Fill the bath, sink, or run the shower.

  2. Fill the tube with water.

  3. Place your penis in the tube.

  4. Press the bottom of the tube firmly against the skin around the penis.

  5. Take care to keep your testicles clear of the edge of the tube.

  6. Operate the pumping mechanism to pump some water out and create a seal.

  7. Increase the vacuum pressure until you have a full, firm erection.

  8. Keep the pressure going for the prescribed time.

  9. Release the pressure for the prescribed time

  10. Then start again. You may need to refill the water and make adjustments.

  11. Repeat applying pressure and releasing for the prescribed number of rounds.


Warning - Never apply enough vacuum to cause pain or discomfort. If it becomes painful, release some pressure until you have a comfortable vacuum level.


Using an Air Pump

Again, not all air pumps work the same way. The specifics of operating them will vary, but here are some general steps.


  1. Put some lube on the head of the penis to prevent it from sticking to the tube.

  2. Apply some lube around the bottom of the tube to help create a seal.

  3. Place your penis in the tube.

  4. Press the bottom of the tube firmly against the skin around the penis.

  5. Take care to keep your testicles clear of the edge of the tube.

  6. Operate the pumping mechanism to pump air out and create a seal.

  7. Increase the vacuum pressure until you have a full, firm erection.

  8. Keep the pressure going for the prescribed time.

  9. Release the pressure for the prescribed time

  10. Then start again. You may need to make adjustments and reapply the lube.

  11. Repeat applying pressure and releasing for the prescribed number of rounds.


Warning - Never apply enough vacuum to cause pain or discomfort. If it becomes painful, release some pressure until you have a comfortable vacuum level.


Demos for some popular penis pump models





Protocols for rehabilitation

There isn’t much research on protocols for penis pumps, and the ideal protocol would likely vary based on the individual and how long and to what degree he has had erectile dysfunction. Most protocols have a few things in common, and they are meant to replace nocturnal erections for blood flow to the tissues.


All protocols require the individual to pump until he has a firm, full erection and then to hold it for some time. Then he is supposed to release the vacuum for a shorter time. Then the process is repeated a prescribed number of times. Pumping is also done for a specified number of days per week.


Some protocols include jelqing. Jelqing is a method of massaging blood into the penis. Please check out the following links for information on jelqing.





General protocols guidelines


How often: 3 to 7 days a week.

How many times per day: 1 or 2 times per day

Apply vacuum: 1 to 5 minutes

Release vacuum: A few seconds to 2 minutes

Jelqing: Some protocols call for jelqing during the release phase


Troubleshooting


Problems getting enough vacuum

A lack of vacuum is usually a problem with maintaining the seal. The seal between the skin and the base of the pump is critical.


Potential solutions:

  • Trim pubic hair.

  • Apply more lube to the base for air pumps.

  • For water pumps, apply petroleum jelly to the base of the pump, or submerge the base in water.


The head of the penis sticks to the wall of the pump.


Having the head of the penis sticking to the side of the penis pump is an issue with both air and water pumps.


Potential solutions:

  • Apply lube to the head of the penis before inserting it into the penis pump.

  • Release some pressure as you pump and shake the penis away from the wall. Continue pumping

Observations and suggestions from my experience

Use an interval timer.


Many free interval timing apps are available if you have a smartphone or tablet. Download one and set it up for your protocol. Set the work interval up for the pumping phase and the rest interval for the release phase.


If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, consider getting an interval timing device. The Gymboss is a popular device, but there are many others.


My Interval Timer





There will likely be a learning curve.


Don’t expect everything to go smoothly immediately while using a penis pump. Don’t get frustrated. Eventually, you will get a system down and be able to prevent and troubleshoot issues more efficiently. The more you practice, the easier it will be.


You may see an increase in penis size.


After using a penis pump for a couple of months, my wife mentioned that my penis appeared slightly bigger. I also notice a difference. The difference for me wasn’t dramatic, but it was noticeable. Other men, I have talked to have also seen a change in size.


Testicle “suck-up”


You will likely have problems with your testicles getting sucked up into the pump. It may take practice to figure out how to prevent this from happening with your particular penis pump. If you get a pump that can be operated one-handed, you can use the other hand to hold the testicles in place while increasing the vacuum.


Get an air pump even if you have a water pump.


Backup - I’ve found that having an air pump can, at times, greatly simplify getting my pumping done. Even if you prefer a water pump, it’s a good idea to have an air pump as a backup.


Logistics - The logistics of using a water pump can be complicated. Generally, you will need access to a bathroom and running water. If you have exclusive access to a bathroom, it’s less of an issue, but if you share a bathroom, you will have to work out a time for exclusive access with the other people in the household.


Traveling - If you are traveling, an air pump will generally take up less space, and again you can use it without exclusive access to a bathroom, which you might not have when traveling.

Popular penis pump brands of:













References:


Research Articles:







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