A vacuum constriction device (VCD, or a penis pump) helps a man get and keep an erection. Usually used for medical causes of erectile dysfunction, a VCD can also help men with anxiety-based ED.
A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump that a man with erectile dysfunction (ED) can use to get and maintain an erection. The pump helps the penis to become erect and a band attached to the pump helps to maintain the erection.
To use the device:
The band can be left on safely for up to 30 minutes to allow for successful intercourse.
Vacuum constriction devices are most commonly used to treat medical causes of ED. These causes include:
Because VCDs are safe to use and have few long-term side effects, they are also sometimes recommended as a treatment for anxiety-based ED.
The erection obtained by the VCD is not the same as an erection obtained naturally. The penis tends to be purplish in color and can be cold. To warm the penis so that it is not so cold, you can try putting a warm compress on it before having sex. Other side effects can include:
VCDs may cost from $300 to $500, depending on brand and type. If you come in for teaching and it is effective, you will receive a VCD and your insurance will be billed.
Most insurance policies, including Medicare, cover at least part of the costs of VCDs, especially if a medical cause for ED has been documented. Medicaid, however, does not cover VCDs.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/30/2020.
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