Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to either get or maintain an erection. Symptoms of ED include an erection that doesn’t last long enough and an erection that isn’t hard enough for sexual activity.

Today, the most common treatments for ED include things like oral medications and surgery. But before these more modern treatments, men often relied on prostatic massage to ease their ED symptoms. Some men still use it today in combination with other treatments.

In this article, we’ll explain prostatic massage, as well as how it works, how it’s used, and more.

To perform a prostatic massage, a practitioner will place a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum and apply pressure to your prostate gland. The procedure is not normally painful, but some may find it uncomfortable.

Prostatic massage is thought to help men with ED by clearing the prostatic duct. Massage might also interrupt infections and eliminate blocked fluids. A few studies have found that men who get prostate massage for the symptoms of ED experience improvement.

Unfortunately, these studies have been small. Prostatic massage isn’t considered a mainstream form of ED treatment. Even still, for some men, this alternative option may be helpful in addition to other forms of treatment.

Although it may be tempting, internet videos for do-it-yourself prostatic massage likely won’t be very helpful for your purposes.

If you’re working with your urologist, your family health practitioner, or a sexual health expert already, ask them to help you locate a prostatic massage practitioner.

Some doctors who specialize in ED treatment may have a practitioner on staff or have one they can recommend to you. Some doctors may even perform prostatic massage themselves.

Make sure that the person you select is trained specifically for prostatic massage. A general massage therapist usually isn’t capable of performing this specialized type of medical treatment.

Much like other types of massage, prostatic massage is designed to massage the tissues in and around your groin, gently but firmly. Depending on your symptoms, you may need more frequent treatments or a longer treatment period.

In previous studies, men underwent a massage treatment three to four times per week for at least 4 weeks. Prostate massage was shown to be effective as a treatment for prostatitis, one physical cause for ED.

Research is still limited on the efficacy of prostate massage for ED itself.

Your health insurance may not cover this type of treatment unless a medical doctor performs it. Before you begin the massage treatments, call your health insurance company and request coverage verification. Ask the massage practitioner to do the same.

If these treatments aren’t covered, talk with your doctor or the massage therapist about the out-of-pocket costs.

In the limited studies noted above, the long-term effects of prostatic massage have been promising.

After several weeks of treatment, many men in these studies experienced fewer issues with ED. The long-term benefits of this type of treatment aren’t known, though. The research is limited.

This type of treatment isn’t thought to be harmful or dangerous. Your doctor may suggest you undergo periods of prostatic massage every few years to help ease your symptoms. If an underlying cause is found and treated, you may not need the massage after all.

Many men experience ED issues. Not being able to achieve an erection on occasion is rarely cause for concern.

If you find that you’re unable to get or keep an erection for more than a few weeks, there may be an underlying problem. This may cause stress, anxiety, or relationship issues.

Talking with your doctor can help you determine the cause of ED. If a cause is diagnosed, you can often begin treatment immediately.

ED is common, and it can be treated in a variety of ways. It used to be that prostatic massage was one of the main treatments. But this strategy isn’t used as much anymore since medicine has advanced.

This doesn’t stop people from still seeking out prostatic massage for ED. Often, it’s used alongside other forms of treatment.

Being honest with yourself, your partner, and your doctor can help you seek out a diagnosis and a remedy for your ED.