How Does an Erectile Dysfunction Penis Pump Work?

More than 600,000 men receive a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States each year. The condition, also known as erectile disorder or impotence, can be caused by a number of factors, including poor physical and mental health, but the most strongly associated variable is age. It is estimated that approximately 40 percent of men at age 40 are affected by erectile dysfunction. The incidence of the condition increases in older age groups. Nearly 70 percent of men above the age of 70 are affected by it.

Several treatment options are available to men affected by erectile dysfunction. Some of them involve drugs, chemicals, or surgery. But there are less invasive alternatives as well. The erectile dysfunction penis pump is a device that mimics the body’s natural erection mechanism. How does a penis pump work? Is it easy to use? Is it effective?

For more information, check out our “Guide to Penis Pumps“.

How does a penis pump work?

In most men, the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction is related to decreased blood flow to the penis. This is why a number of health conditions that affect the cardiovascular system can lead to the development of ED, including diabetes and heart disease. Other medical conditions that can cause erection problems include prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. What do penis pumps do to correct the problem?

A penis pump is a vacuum erection device (VED). It consists of a transparent cylinder, negative pressure device (pump head), and tension systems (constriction ring). The cylinder is placed over the penis and air is pumped out of the cylinder, either manually or with a battery-powered pump. What does a penis pump do? It creates a vacuum around the penis with an airtight seal at the base. The negative pressure causes blood to flow into the organ. The blood fills the two chambers called corpora cavernosa, making the penis expand and become erect. A constriction (tension) ring is then placed at the base of the penis to prevent the blood from flowing out to maintain the erection.

In healthy men, sexual arousal stimulates nerve impulses that cause the erectile tissues called the corpora cavernosa to relax and blood to flow into the penis. In men with erection problems, penis pumps replicate the process by mechanically drawing blood into the organ and making it expand. By pulling blood flow into the penis, the vacuum constriction devices immediately produce an erection.

How to use a penis pump?

How do penis pump work? How to get the best results with a vacuum erection device? It takes a little practice, but the process is a relatively easy one. The VED kit consists of the following components:

  • Pump head (manual or battery operated)
  • Vacuum cylinder (available in various sizes)
  • Comfort inserts
  • Lubricant
  • Loading cone
  • Tension rings

How to Use an Erectile Dysfunction Pump: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Trim the pubic hair. A shaved pubic area provides a better seal between the body and device. Applying lubricant to the rim of the cylinder will help achieve a tighter seal. An airtight seal of the cylinder against the body is necessary for the success of penis pumps.

Step 2: Place the acrylic cylinder over the penis. The comfort inserts push onto one end of the cylinder and the pump goes on the other end. Using the correct size of cylinder and comfort inserts ensures a snug fit around the flaccid penis. The right fit is important for successful use of the device without discomfort.

Step 3: Activate the pumping mechanism. Start slowly and gradually increase the vacuum within the cylinder. This will create a negative pressure and draw blood into the penis, causing an erection.

Step 4: Slide the tension ring from the cylinder onto the base of the penis to prevent the backflow of blood. The ring can be safely left in place on the erect penis for up to 30 minutes to maintain the erection. Remove the cylinder and pump after releasing the vacuum.

Vacuum therapy system demonstration from Augusta Medical Systems, LLC on Vimeo.

Do penis pumps work?

With a little practice and correct use, a penis pump allows most men to obtain their fullest possible erection for satisfying sexual intercourse. High levels of overall patient satisfaction are reported among men who use these devices. One study found that notably high numbers of diabetic men were able to achieve satisfactory erections with vacuum pumps. After an initial period of learning to use the system, effective results can be achieved in 2-3 minutes with three easy steps.

erectile dysfunction pump
Apply the system over the penis.
Erectile Dysfunction Pump
Activate the pumping mechanism. This will draw the blood into the penis, causing an erection.
how to use an erectile dysfunction pump
Once the penis is fully engorged, the tension ring is placed at the base of the penis, maintaining the erection.

Do penis pumps really work?

These devices are often successful in men who have not responded to other treatments for erectile dysfunction. It is also common for men to utilize a penis pump in conjunction with other ED treatments to improve partial erection or decrease dosage requirements when combined with oral medications or injection therapy. This is because penis pumps mechanically create an erection, bypassing nerve dysfunction, blood flow problems, psychological issues, and other causes of impotence. They are well tolerated and associated with minimal to no side effects. They allow men with erectile dysfunction to enjoy a healthy sex life without resorting to medications, injections, or invasive procedures. VEDs are reliable and permit increased spontaneity in sex as they can be incorporated into foreplay. Last but not least, they are a cost-effective long-term option as they involve a one-time purchase with no limitation on usage.

Users have found our vacuum erection device to be effective and easy to use:

“I used two other VED’s before finally finding your SomaTherapy-ED device.  Until now I had practically written the penis pump off as ineffective.  Your device is easy to use and much more effective than any other available, believe me I know!  It was important to understand that learning to use this system requires a little time and practice.  Now I have learned how to effectively get results in 2-3 minutes, I have the fullest natural erection physically possible for as long as I like, feel like I am 25! Thank you Augusta Medical Systems for creating this fantastic product.”

Ronald – Atlanta, GA

Research suggests that these devices are safe and effective not only for erectile dysfunction, but also for penile rehabilitation following prostate surgery. The negative pressure created by the penis pump increases blood flow into the organ, which aids oxygenation by engorging, stretching, and revitalizing penile tissues. A regimen of vacuum pump usage can reduce or reverse some of the damage caused by age and/or prostate surgery. Studies show a significant improvement in spontaneous erections when the device is used for penile rehabilitation. When vacuum constriction devices are used in combination with medication, a success rate of more than 90 percent is noted compared to less than 60 percent with medication alone.

Does a penis pump work for penile elongation?

This is a myth. Vacuum treatment is not an effective method to lengthen the penis. It merely provides false psychological satisfaction with no significant enhancement in penis length. Claims that vacuum pumps can make the penis thicker and longer or increase the size of your manhood are simply not supported by scientific evidence. However, research does indicate that a penis pump can help preserve penile size in men who have undergone prostatectomy.

Who should consider using vacuum therapy system (penis pump)?

Do penis pumps work for anyone with ED? Vacuum constriction devices are safe and effective for erectile dysfunction caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Poor blood flow to the penis
  • Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension
  • Treatment with medications known to cause erection problems
  • Surgery for colon or prostate cancer
  • Psychological issues such as depression and anxiety

Penis pumps work for many men who have not responded to other treatments or have had unacceptable side effects with other treatments for ED, such as medications or injections. However, they are contraindicated in men with blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia or certain types of leukemia, due to a risk of bleeding and priapism. For most men, the effectiveness and safety of erectile dysfunction penis pumps, the low risk of side effects, the cost effectiveness, and the ability to use them in combination with other treatments makes them a good choice for ED treatment.


  • Erectile Dysfunction: Persistent inability to achieve an erection for satisfactory sex.
  • Cardiovascular System: The circulatory system consisting of the heart, blood vessels, and blood.
  • Corpora Cavernosa: A pair of tubes in the penis that fill with blood during an erection.
  • Prostatectomy: A surgery to remove all or part of the prostate gland.
  • Hypertension: Abnormally high blood pressure.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia: A disorder in which the red blood cells are rigid, sticky, and misshapen.
  • Leukemia: A cancer of the blood-forming tissues in the body.
  • Priapism: A prolonged, painful erection lasting several hours.