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Penis rings for erectile dysfunction

Penis rings for erectile dysfunction

Most people probably think of penis rings as a device to increase pleasure during sex. This is true, but they can also be used in people with erectile dysfunction to try and improve erections. 

If you want to find out how a penis ring can help improve your erections, or you want to know about other ways of improving erections, then we’ve got the info you need.

How can a penis ring improve my erections?

Although penis rings have not been proven to improve erections for everyone, studies of individual people have shown that you could see some real benefits – the main advantage of penis rings is they can be used with other erectile dysfunction treatments to improve the effects.

A penis ring fits around the base of the penis, or the penis and testicles, and applies pressure to the surrounding area. This pressure squeezes the blood vessels that carry blood out of the penis and causes blood to leave more slowly. 

If you have erectile dysfunction then your body can’t keep enough blood in the penis to keep an erection going. A penis ring will trap blood in the penis for longer and increases the total amount of blood in the penis for a stronger erection.

How do I choose a penis ring?

The main things to consider when picking a penis ring are:

  • The material it’s made from – this is important if you have any latex allergies or sensitive skin.
  • How well it fits – the right fit will apply enough pressure to get the effect, without causing you pain or harm. Ideally you want a ring that’s adjustable.

You can buy different types of penis rings from specialist high street shops or online if you prefer.

Penis rings (also known as cock rings, tension rings, or constriction bands) come in a few varieties but there are also similar devices called pleasure and testicle rings which work slightly differently. The table below explains the differences:

Yes – but only proven to work with other treatments

How do I use a penis ring?

Here’s a guide on putting on your penis ring, depending on the type:

  • Make sure you have an erection first.
  • Slip the ring over the head of your penis.
  • Roll is down your shaft up against the base (where the penis meets your crotch).
  • Make sure you’re flaccid.
  • Put your testicles in first, one-by-one.
  • Fold the head of your penis down towards the ring.
  • Push the head of your penis through the ring and pull the rest of your shaft.
  • Make sure the ring is at the base of your penis and scrotum.
  • Go for a lightweight one if you’re a beginner.
  • With the penoscrotal ring, put your testicles through the ring one-by-one.
  • This will not sit at the base of your scrotum, but it will hang on the top of your testicles.
  • They should:
    • Be right up against your body with no gap.
    • Be able to stay in place even when you have no erection and you stand up.
    • Not feel too tight or uncomfortable.
  • You may want to try increasing blood flow by taking a hot bath or shower beforehand.
  • Shaving your pubic hair can avoid them painfully snagging on the ring.
  • Try them with masturbation before trying them with sex so you can get used to them.
  • Standing or being on top could help as gravity with pull more blood towards the penis.
  • If you have trouble putting on your penis ring it can help to apply some lubricant to your penis and testicles, and to the inside of the penis ring.
  • If you find it difficult to orgasm with your ring on, remove it just before orgasm. This can also increase pleasure.
  • Buying a ring that vibrates can increase pleasure and arousal, improving your erection.

Using with a condom – it’s hard to say whether you should put your ring or condom on first (if you’re using one). Putting the ring on second might help keep the condom on, but it could also damage it. You will have to put your condom on second with a penoscrotal ring because they need to go on when you’re flaccid and condoms need to go on when you’re erect.

Are there risks to using a penis ring?

There are risks to using penis rings. You might be at risk of damaging your penis and you should remove your penis ring if you experience any of the following:

Having a well fitted penis ring and making sure you don’t keep it on longer than 30 minutes at a time will help you avoid these risks. If you are unable to remove your penis ring at any time then you should go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department straight away.

If you are unable to remove your penis ring for a long period of time then you put yourself at risk of gangrene. This is where the blood supply to your penis is cut off and the tissue the penis is made up of can’t get enough oxygen and dies.

What else could I try for better erections?

Remember that there are other options to help with your erectile dysfunction and you can try them alongside your penis ring. If you get an assessment from a doctor, they are likely to recommend trying medication for your erectile dysfunction. Medications you can choose from include:

As long as a doctor agrees they are right for you, you can try these medications for your erection problems. They are proven to help up to 65% of people with erectile dysfunction and you can get them from a local pharmacy with a prescription or delivered to you from an online doctor service.

As well as medication, you could also try your penis ring with:

  • Health and lifestyle changes.
  • Pelvic floor exercises.
  • Counselling or therapy.
  • A penis pump.

Bodner, D. R. et al (1999).  Intraurethral alprostadil for treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with spinal cord injury. Urology; 53(1): 199-202.

Bosshardt, R. J. et al (1995).  Objective measurement of the effectiveness, therapeutic success and dynamic mechanisms of the vacuum device.  BJU International ; 75(6): 786-791

Hosseini, S. R. (2007), Does a constriction ring alter ejaculation latency?. BJU International; 100: 619–620.

Montague, D. (2017). Nonpharmacologic Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476026/ [Accessed 1 Jun 2017].

Newman H. F., Northup J. D. and Devlin J. (1964). Mechanism of human penile erection. Invest Urol; 1: 350-353.

Oderda, M. and Gontero, P. (2010). Non-invasive methods of penile lengthening: fact or fiction?. BJU International; 107(8): 1278-1282.

Weiss, B; Hait, W N (1977). "Selective Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors as Potential Therapeutic Agents". Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology; 17: 441–77.

Wylie KR, Hallam-Jones R, Steward D. The combination of penoscrotal rings and PDE5I’s in the treatment of erectile dysfunction – the Sheffield PDE5i and ring duo technique: two case reports. Sex Relationship Ther, 2006; 21: 209–15

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