Impulse Magnetic Field Therapy
Similar to the application of LI-ESW for ED, impulse magnetic field therapy has gained interest in the field of sexual medicine. Magnetic pulse fields induce an alternating current within the body's electrolytes affecting the cells' water content, mitochondrial function, physical properties of the membranes, nutrient, oxygen and amino acid uptake, energy production, ion membrane permeability, and macrophage migration [Pelka et al. 2002]. Magnetic fields in adequate forms and doses can increase oxygen uptake by the cell, enhance blood circulation, and reverse functional impairment. Shafik and colleagues were the first to use impulse magnetic-field therapy on humans [Shafik et al. 2000]. Their study included 32 patients with neurogenic ED and 20 healthy volunteers. A magnetic coil was placed over the dorsal aspect of the penis in the vicinity of the symphysis pubis. For 10 minutes, magnetic stimulation at 40% intensity and 20 Hz frequency, 50 seconds on and 50 seconds off, led to gradual increases in length and diameter until full erection was achieved; the penis became firm, rigid and pulsatile. Intracorporeal pressure also increased significantly (p< 0.0001) at full erection. The study demonstrated that magnetic stimulation is a simple, noninvasive method that could induce phallic engorgement and indicated this therapy might be suitable for patients with ED. Further research by Rainer and colleagues in a doubleblind, placebo-controlled study assessed the efficacy of 3 weeks of impulse magnetic-field therapy for ED [Rainer et al.]. A total of 20 volunteers who suffered from ED or orgasmic disturbances were included. The results suggested that impulse magnetic field therapy improved erectile function at certain forms and doses (10 minutes, magnetic stimulation at 40% intensity and 20 Hz frequency, 50 seconds on and 50 seconds off) [Pelka et al.2002]. However, more clinical studies are needed to verify the effectiveness of this therapy (including more patients, a longer time frame and side effects). A special design and easy use of impulse magnetic field therapy for ED is also required.