Are stem cell injections permanent? The nature of your stem cell therapy will determine whether the shot is permanent or not—there is no blanket answer to this question. With this said, one of the common reasons for stem cell therapy is to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), especially in patients where diabetes is the cause of the ED.
Injections of mesenchymal stem cells to treat erectile dysfunction may be effective in improving penile rigidity for as long as 12 months. Yet stem cell treatments for other ailments, such as osteoarthritis in the knee, may have a completely different effective life.
Let us focus, for the sake of this article, on one of the most common, scientifically-backed forms of stem cell therapy: the use of mesenchymal stem cells to treat erectile dysfunction.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Mesenchymal stem cells are one of the numerous forms of stem cells, so it helps to explain what stem cells are. Stem cells create new cells in the body, and the cells that they create may be either additional stem cells or specialized cells that serve a specific purpose, such as creating heart muscles or helping in the production of blood.
Stem cells create what are referred to as daughter cells. The general goal of stem cell therapy is to direct stem cells to create a certain type of specialized cell—bone cells, cartilage, brain cells, or some other form of cell—in order to help restore healthy function in a damaged or depleted part of the body.
Various types of stem cells have different capacities to create new cell types. One of the forms of stem cells is mesenchymal stem cells, which have proven effective in treating chronic ailments, including erectile dysfunction.
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Few Side Effects or Abnormalities
The range of proposed medical uses for stem cells is vast, and different stem cells are capable of different things. Some stem cells offer great potential for the treatment of serious ailments, yet they may have drawbacks such as significant side effects. Conversely, mesenchymal stem cells do not pose such a threat of serious side effects or abnormalities.
Mesenchymal stem cells are taken from adults. Those who are considering mesenchymal stem cell treatment as a remedy for their erectile dysfunction will be encouraged by findings that these stem cells have not proven to create any major abnormalities or side effects.
Such findings are not always the case for stem cell treatments, which makes mesenchymal stem cells a comparatively proven, safe form of treatment for those who use it.
Additional Benefits of Stem Cells
There is no shortage of stem cell proponents speculating (often credibly) about these cells’ potential to heal. Scientists continue to explore the bounds of what stem cells can do, and the most obvious benefit of this is the creation of novel treatment techniques such as stem cell treatment of erectile dysfunction.
With that in mind, the study of stem cells offers additional benefits other than merely coming up with new treatment approaches, which is no doubt important. Other benefits of studying stem cells include:
- The ability to test the effects of new treatment drugs and approaches in a controlled environment without using live humans
- Providing researchers the ability to study how diseases develop as isolated stem cells replicate what occurs in the human body
These benefits are great, but most still want to know one thing: how will this stem cell research help me?
One answer is that those with erectile dysfunction may have an alternate form of long-lasting treatment.
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Stem Cell Therapy Is Helping Treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Some of the more established uses for mesenchymal stem cells include:
- Treating inflammation-related ailments
- Addressing immune system deficiencies
- Reducing the effects of degenerative diseases
Erectile dysfunction is a disorder for which mesenchymal stem cells have proven a promising remedy. One study examined male patients with erectile dysfunction, giving them shots of mesenchymal stem cells to increase blood flow.
Each patient received two shots of mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow, with the shots spaced thirty days apart. The patients experienced an improved ability to get an erection, with the effect lasting up to 12 months.
Erectile dysfunction is a common effect of diabetes, but plenty of men without diabetes also suffer from the disorder. The results of this and other studies targeting diabetic men suggests the promise of mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.
*The information within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please speak to a medical professional to diagnose and address specific conditions.