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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficulty having or maintaining an erection that is sufficient for satisfying sexual activity. Vacuum erectile devices, also called penis pumps, may treat the condition without the need for medication.

People with ED may experience:

  • occasional difficulty having an erection
  • difficulty maintaining an erection
  • an inability to have an erection

ED is most common among older males. These factors increase the risk of ED:

  • having certain health conditions, including mental health conditions and obesity
  • taking certain medicines
  • being overweight
  • having a history of smoking

A penis pump can address the symptoms of ED. The device might contain:

  • a tube
  • a seal ring
  • a battery powered or mechanical pump

The pump creates a vacuum inside the tube, which stimulates blood flow to the penis. Increased blood flow produces an erection. With some devices, a person pumps manually.

How to use a penis pump

To use a penis pump:

  1. Insert the penis into the tube.
  2. Turn on the device, if it is battery powered, or squeeze the hand pump to remove the air inside the tube.
  3. The blood vessels in the penis start to expand as the pump extracts air from the tube. It may take a few minutes to get an erection.
  4. Once the penis is erect, slide the constriction ring down to the base of the penis.
  5. Remove the tube.

Mechanical and battery-powered pumps are easy to use, and both can result in an erection that can last for up to 30 minutes. It is crucial to remove the constriction ring before 30 minutes have passed to prevent injury to the penis.

A penis pump cannot make the penis bigger.

For people who use penis pumps and their partners, around 77% may be satisfied with the outcome. Penis pumps are safe for many people, including those with diabetes, a spinal cord injury, or recent surgery to remove the prostate.

Older evidence suggests that penis pumps can improve ED and preserve the size of the penis after a radical prostatectomy.

These devices can have negative effects, but these are usually mild and disappear on their own. People may experience bruising, discomfort, and pain. If any of these occur, stop using the device immediately.

To avoid bruising, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using the minimum amount of vacuum pressure.

The device can also worsen symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, priapism, or urethral strictures.

Overall, it is a good idea to ask a healthcare professional whether a penis pump is suitable before making a purchase.

People may wish to consider these factors before buying a vacuum erection device:

  • Type: A pump may be manual or battery powered.
  • Safety: Consider asking a healthcare professional for help choosing the right device.
  • Warranty: It may be best to choose a product with a warranty and return guarantee, so the company will replace or return the device if it is damaged or stops working.
  • Features: These pumps sometimes come with lubricant, a carrying case, and size rings.
  • Manual: Before making a purchase, a person may be able to check that the instructions are clear. Some companies also have how-to videos on their websites.

How we choose products

At Medical News Today, we choose products that fit these criteria, when possible:

  • Price: The products are available for a range of budgets.
  • Ease of use: They come with clear instructions.
  • Warranty: They have a warranty period.

This section describes some manual penis pumps on the market today.

Several are available over the counter at many pharmacies. Other penis pumps require a prescription, which a person can get from their primary care doctor or urologist.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for different sized rings: Encore Standard Manual Vacuum Erection Device

Encore’s device comes with:

  • a plastic tube
  • four tension bands
  • a hand pump
  • a cone-shaped ring applicator
  • a ring ejector
  • lubricant
  • a body shield

The body shield prevents the skin and pubic hair from getting pulled into the vacuum tube.

Although the tube should fit most penises, an “oversized” tube is available.

The Encore Standard Manual Vacuum Erection Device costs $135.

Best for different tube sizes: SOMAerectStf Erectile Dysfunction System

This manual device from Augusta Medical Systems comes with three tubes of different sizes, so a person can choose the best fit.

Using an appropriately sized tube can help prevent the skin and pubic hair from getting sucked into device.

In the package, a person receives:

  • numerous tension rings
  • a loading cone
  • a sizing guide
  • a training manual
  • a carrying case

The website highlights that a person can operate the negative pressure function with just one finger.

There is also a lifetime warranty on this product.

The SOMAerectStf Erectile Dysfunction System costs $249.95.

Best for larger budgets: MVP 700 Penile Pump-Standard Pos-T-VAC kit

Pos-T-Vac developed this manual device in collaboration with a certified urologist.

The device comes with three size adapters for the vacuum tube, which may provide more comfort and improve the vacuum seal.

The MVP 700 Penile Pump-Standard Pos-T-VAC kit costs $650.

Best for a quiet operation: Pos-T-Vac Erect Vac Max MVP

Pos-T-Vac says that this medical-grade manual device is noiseless and discrete. The spring loaded pump has internal and external safety valves, and the vacuum can reach up to 17 column inches of pressure.

The Pos-T-Vac Erect Vac Max MVP costs $215.

This section describes some battery-powered penis pumps available for purchase.

Best for traveling: Encore Deluxe Vacuum Erection Device

Encore’s deluxe device has interchangeable manual and battery powered elements. The package contains:

  • a plastic tube
  • seven different size rings
  • lubricant
  • a user manual
  • a carrying case

The Encore Deluxe Vacuum Erection Device costs $188.50.

Best for a longer warranty: Unysen Health Vacuum Erection Device System

Unysen Health’s battery-powered device comes with:

  • a durable polycarbonate tube
  • battery-powered pump
  • lubricant
  • a user manual
  • a carrying case

Theres is a 30-day return policy and a 1-year limited warranty on this product. It costs $349.99.

Best for easy use: BOS-2000-2 Battery Vacuum ED Penis Pump System

This pump requires two AA batteries and has internal and external safety release valves.

The standard kit includes:

  • a battery-powered pump
  • a vacuum tube
  • three constriction rings
  • a ring applicator
  • lubricant
  • a carrying case

The BOS-2000-2 Battery Vacuum ED Penis Pump System costs $245.70.

The table below compares the seven penis pumps in the section above:

PriceTypeExtras
Encore Standard Manual Vacuum Erection Device$135manualfour tension bands

lubricant

body shield
SOMAerectStf Erectile Dysfunction System$249.95manualtension rings

carrying case
MVP 700 Penile Pump-Standard Pos-T-VAC kit$650manualthree size adapters

four tension rings

lubricant

carrying bag
Pos-T-Vac Erect Vac Max MVP$215manualtwo sizing inserts

three tension rings

lubricant

carrying case
Encore Deluxe Vacuum Erection Device$188.50battery-poweredseven tension rings

body shield

lubricant

carrying case
Unysen Health Vacuum Erection Device System$349.99battery-poweredlubricant

carrying case
BOS-2000-2 Battery Vacuum ED Penis Pump System$245.70battery-poweredthree constriction rings

lubricant

carrying case

Below are answers to some common questions about penis pumps.

Do I need a prescription for a penis pump?

Vacuum erection devices, or penis pumps, are available with or without a prescription.

Anyone who wants to purchase an over-the-counter penis pump might still benefit from checking with a healthcare professional to make sure that they buy a suitable product. The medical professional can discuss safety considerations, and they may recommend certain brands.

Some insurance companies cover the cost of penis pumps, especially for people with a history of prostate cancer. It may be a good idea to contact an insurer before making a purchase.

How much do penis vacuum pumps cost?

The cost varies, depending on the manufacturer and the features of the device. Also, some come with accessories, such tubes and rings of different sizes, lubricant, and a carrying case.

Products with more features and accessories tend to be more expensive.

Are there side effects of penis pumps?

The most common adverse effects may be bruising, discomfort, and pain. Also, these devices can worsen symptoms of Peyronie’s disease, priapism, and urethral strictures.

The FDA recommends using minimal pressure to prevent these adverse effects. If any discomfort or pain occurs, stop using the device immediately.

ED is a common condition. It is difficult to find accurate estimates of its prevalence, but an older study from 2002 estimated that 2% of males under 40 have ED. This figure increased to 86% in males aged 80 or older.

A penis pump can be an easy, safe, and effective nondrug treatment for ED. These devices are available over the counter at local pharmacies or online. If a doctor prescribes the device, an insurer may cover part or all of the cost.

Some other effective treatment options include oral medications, hormone therapy, penile injections, and penile implants.