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Massage Therapy for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 06/14/2022

Updated 04/06/2024

If you deal with erectile dysfunction (ED), chances are you’re open minded about any treatment, from lifestyle changes to medications

One sometimes-used “treatment” that’s not as commonly spoken about is the concept of an  erectile dysfunction massage — a specific therapeutic massage technique or techniques intended to improve blood flow, organ function and other elements of erectile health. 

We’re going to be up front: there’s little existing research to support the idea that any form of massage can be a viable treatment for ED. But for men who aren’t seeing the results they want, exploring alternative treatments like massage could lead to the results they want to see. 

Below we’ve discussed what constitutes an ED massage, what research says could actually help and what to do next if you’re going to give an ED massage a try.

The term "ED massage" isn't medically defined, and so there’s no official definition of what constitutes a massage for erectile dysfunction. 

Scouring the internet, you may end up with a list of massages that could purportedly help with erectile dysfunction including:

  • Penis massage

  • Prostate massage

  • Tantric massage

  • Erotic massage

  • Reflexology

  • Acupressure

  • Acupuncture

  • Pelvic floor massage

  • Lymphatic drainage massage.

Generally, all of these types of massage focus on stimulating the muscles, glands, organs or blood flow of your sexual organs with the intention of improving the function of whatever is being massaged. And, in certain circumstances, each may anecdotally improve erectile function for some individuals.

Massage techniques have been documented generally to improve blood circulation, address injuries and improve well-being in some areas of medical treatment. But they’ve not been studied in sexual health — specifically with an eye to ED.

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The general consensus when people hear the words “ED massage,” is that they’re generally referring to a prostate massage. Prostatic massage may clear the prostatic duct, and some men have said it leads to erectile improvement.

We have an article on the 3 best prostate massagers if you'd like to check it out.

Unsure where exactly the prostate is? It’s located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It’s about the size of a walnut and surrounds the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder). It also produces fluid that makes up a part of semen.

It is sometimes called the male G-spot (or the P-spot!) — although the existence of this is also medically debated.

Prostate massage therapy usually involves using a lubricated, gloved finger or a tool, and a prostate massager to stimulate the prostate gland carefully. 

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Does prostatic massage actually work to treat erectile dysfunction? Some people also believe that a prostate massage can be used to treat chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) or even prevent prostate cancer.

More research needs to be done.

If you’re interested in learning more about it, you should start by seeking medical advice from a healthcare professional

  • Prostate stimulation may clear out your prostatic duct, allowing for excess fluid to be reduced, leading to a release of symptoms and positive prostate health.

  • This type of therapy may reduce symptoms of an inflamed or enlarged prostate gland and may even help with urine flow and reduce painful ejaculation in some men

As for the negative side effects of an ED massage, well, there aren’t many — just that if you over-stimulate your prostate, you could injure yourself, which means your symptoms could become worse.

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A healthy prostate is crucial for sexual intercourse and men’s health in general. And, if you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction or prostate health issues, addressing prostate issues may result in some improvements. 

One way that some people use to treat this erectile dysfunction is prostatic massage therapy, but unfortunately, there’s just not much evidence out there to determine whether or not this type of treatment works. 

  • The claims about ED massages point to the ability to improve sexual function by massaging the pelvic floor muscles, prostate, penis or other parts of the pelvic area.

  • While some health conditions and injuries could benefit from massage techniques, they are not considered treatment options for ED.

  • Massages do not address the underlying cause of sexual dysfunction in cases where it’s due to mental health, blood pressure or testosterone levels — common causes.

  • Instead, erectile dysfunction medications like sildenafil (generic for Viagra), tadalafil (generic for Cialis) or Stendra (avanafil) are considered first-line options. These PDE5 inhibitors work to increase blood flow to your penis

Thankfully, there are plenty of ED treatments to help your sexual function. If you are interested in exploring ways to improve your sex life, speak with a healthcare professional. 

12 Sources

  1. Definition & facts for erectile dysfunction. (July 2017). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
  2. Capogrosso, P., et al. (2013). One patient out of four with newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction is a young man - worrisome picture from the everyday clinical practice. The journal of sexual medicine, 10(7): 1833-41. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsm.12179
  3. Yafi, F.A., et al. (2017). Erectile dysfunction. Nat rev dis primers, 2: 16003. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027992/
  4. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) (June 2108). Urology Care Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/e/erectile-dysfunction-(ed)
  5. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (July 2017). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
  6. Sildenafil (2018). Medline Plus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html
  7. Tadalafil (2016). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a604008.html
  8. Smith BP, Babos M. Sildenafil. updated 2020 jun 25. In: StatPearls internet. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558978/
  9. The Food and Drug Administration. (2018). https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/021368s030lbl.pdf
  10. Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction (July 2017). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/symptoms-causes
  11. Causes and Treatment Options of Psychological Impotence (2006). The Well-Being Institute, the University of Cambridge. http://www.cambridgewellbeing.org/psychological.html
  12. Prostate problems | National Institute on Aging. (n.d.). Retrieved June 1, 2022, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prostate-problems
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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