Erectile dysfunction, which is one of the most common male sexual health problems, is the greatest barrier to satisfactory sexual experiences. Numerous methods can be employed to treat erectile dysfunction. A treatment plan created by an andrologist and urologist based on a patient’s medical history and underlying factors can ensure a happy sexual life. In recent years, both patients and doctors have sought permanent solutions to erectile dysfunction.
Stem cell treatment, which is the most important treatment option for regenerative medicine, has come to the fore as the most viable option. That is, stem cell treatment is the most effective and promising treatment for permanent erectile dysfunction.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, commonly referred to as impotence, is the inability to sustain a sufficient erection to start and/or sustain sexual intercourse. Men of all age groups can experience erectile dysfunction, which becomes a more common problem with old age. Studies have shown that erectile dysfunction prevalence is 40% among men over 40 years old and 70% among men over 70 years old.
Avoiding professional support for impotence, which significantly decreases quality of life, is the most significant barrier to treatment. Since erectile dysfunction might be caused by psychological factors and cardiovascular problems, treatment must not be disregarded.
What are the reasons for erectile dysfunction?
The first thing to do to treat erectile dysfunction is to identify the cause of the problem. Impotence is often due to physiological factors, such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and hypertension, or psychological factors, such as depression. Psychological factors are more prominent across younger age groups, and both physical and psychological reasons are prominent for men over 35 years of age. These factors can be grouped as follows:
- Vascular system problems (past heart attack, atherosclerosis, hypertension, etc.),
- Diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, cirrhosis, or kidney failure,
- Some lung diseases (COPD, sleep apnea, etc.),
- Neurological problems (epilepsy, stroke, MS, etc.),
- Effects of drugs and therapies (antidepressants, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy),
- Hormonal disorders and imbalances (various endocrinological problems, especially thyroid problems),
- Penile anomalies (Peyronie’s disease, etc.),
- Some surgeries.
- Extreme stress/post-traumatic stress disorder,
- Anxiety disorder,
- Sexual fears and taboos,
- Lack of self-confidence,
- Psychiatric diseases.
How is erectile dysfunction treated?
To treat erectile dysfunction, an andrologist first conducts certain tests and examinations. The first stage involves learning the patient’s medical history in detail. Then, certain tests are conducted to identify the underlying reasons.
The main factor is identified with blood and urine analysis and colored Doppler ultrasound, and erectile dysfunction treatment is planned and catered to each patient. Impotence problems due to other diseases can be solved by treating the underlying disease.
Oral medicine, sexual therapies, and medication injected into the penis can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. In recent years, shock wave treatment, P-Shot procedures, and stem cell treatments have contributed to positive results. The last option for impotence that does not respond to these treatments is the penile implant.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are special cells in our bodies with unlimited division and regeneration capacity. Our body has many stem cell sources. The most accessible stem cells are those between fat tissues. The most important property of stem cells is that they adapt to their environment and transform into other cells. The regeneration potential of stem cells decreases with age.
Are there different stem cell treatments?
Today, stem cell treatments are gathered under the same umbrella. As such, the options for stem cell treatments are as follows:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments do not actually use stem cells, but they are listed among stem cell treatments due to PRP’s regeneration potential. You can read our article about PRP here.
Stromal vascular fraction (SVF) stem cells involve collecting fat tissue from the abdomen, processing this fat, and obtaining stem cells. It is important to use sterile and reliable devices in this process. The SVF contains primer cells, stem cells, and mature cells. The advantage of this method is its ease of use. The most important disadvantage is that cell number, quality, and differentiation potential can vary among individuals. Therefore, the doctor should investigate the cells under a microscope before proceeding with SVF stem cell treatment. 1–5 million stem cells are the target number for SVF stem cell procedures.
GMP stem cell procedures contain the good manufacturing practices. The stem cells for treatment are selected from the stem cell pool, and a suitable number of cells are injected by the doctor into the penile tissue. The number of targeted cells for erectile dysfunction is 10–15 million.
This is an effective treatment option. All cells are produced after the quality control steps. Using the cells of another person does not cause any incompatibility. However, it is possible to multiply the cells collected from the patient’s tissue in a laboratory environment. At this stage, cell preparation will take approximately 15 days.
Do stem cells with infinite division capacity cause cancer?
Stem cells with infinite division capacity do not cause cancer. Therefore, there is no need to be afraid of stem cell treatments.
Which stem cell treatment should I choose?
Since there are many different stem cell treatment options, andrologists and regenerative medicine doctors will discuss all suitable options. At this stage, the doctor will choose a suitable treatment for the patient. The patient’s age, the severity of the disease, and the quality of the stem cells are important considerations in the doctor’s decision.
Cellular treatments are not limited to stem cells alone, and specialists in regenerative medicine clinics will provide a significant advantage in determining the correct treatment selection.
How are stem cells applied?
If SVF stem cell treatment is preferred for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, approximately 50–60 cc of high-quality fat tissue will be collected from the patient. These tissues are processed with certain equipment, and the stem cell content is separated. The obtained content is then injected inside the penis tubes. A repetitive dose might be recommended 3–6 months after the initial dose, depending on the severity of the disease.
If GMP stem cell treatment is planned, the necessary permissions will be collected from the Ministry of Health before the application. Although GMP stem cell treatment is highly effective, the Ministry of Health requires competent surgeons to perform this treatment. After receiving the permit from the Ministry of Health, the special cells are prepared in around 3–5 business days and injected inside the penis tubes.
Who is eligible for stem cell treatment?
The P-Shot (PRP) procedure is applied when individuals have erectile dysfunction due to physiological reasons. These can be as follows:
- Advanced age,
- Patients with hypertension,
- Patients with diabetes,
- Patients with atherosclerosis,
- Patients who smoke,
- Patients who experience impotence due to chemotherapy and cancer treatment.
Stem cell treatment benefits
Stem cell treatment that helps with permanent tissue repair using advanced technology is effective for preventing other sexual dysfunctions and erectile dysfunction.
The benefits of stem cell treatment are as follows:
- The erection quality is improved.
- The procedure eliminates early or late ejaculation problems.
- Sexual performance might improve.
- Penis size might show visible growth.
- Sexual satisfaction will be regained, and self-confidence will increase.
Stem Cell Treatment Istanbul
Stem cell treatment is a common erectile dysfunction treatment applied in Istanbul and other cities. This procedure can be performed in one day since there is no need for hospitalization.
However, just like any other treatment, stem cell procedures must be performed in a hygienic environment with quality equipment by expert andrologists. Furthermore, a doctor’s training in stem cells is important when determining a suitable method for you.
What is the cost of stem cell treatment?
Cellular treatments are highly effective for permanently solving problems. In addition, it is important to remember that incorrect applications can cause greater problems.
Using sterile and European-standard equipment and obtaining treatment that is under stringent quality control measures in the right laboratories increase effectiveness and decrease side effects. Therefore, the treatment price depends on the hospital and the selected treatment method.