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Devices to Treat Erectile Dysfunction    

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The Penis Pump

The penis pump is one of the most ubiquitous devices for treating erectile dysfunction, and dates back to the early 19th century. Its invention is credited to French physician Vincent Marie Mondat.

Nowadays you can easily get a penis pump on the internet or at an adult store, but at first, they were sold mainly to doctors, through medical catalogs.


This entry in an 1857 catalog of surgical supplies lists the price of a penis pump as $5.00.

Illustration of 19th century penis pump in use


"Hercules Congester" circa 1900


This hand crank operated penis "congester" looks very similar to contemporary penis pumps, and works the same way.
Some more elaborate vacuum pumps were driven by electrical motors and also incorporated vibrators.

Motor-driven penis pump


Splints and Supports

A case of antique penis supporters


Sheaths such as the ones at left provided external support for the penis, and probably added some extra sensation for the man's partner during intercourse.


On the other hand, we don't imagine this device was very comfortable, either for the user or his mate.

Design for a penis "splint" patented in 1943



Patent illustration for a constricting strap, 1926

Straps, Rings, and Constrictors

This device bolsters the base of the penis while constricting blood flow.



The device at right was designed by urologist James Foley, the inventor of the Foley catheter. It helps maintain an erection by putting pressure on the dorsal vein, preventing blood from flowing out of the penis.

This device inflates to restrict blood flow

Patent drawing for a penile prosthesis, 1976


Surgical Implants

Although some surgical treatments for ED had been tried previously, it wasn't until the 1960s and '70s that  significant advances were made, in the form of implantable flexible prostheses.

The surgical implant at right consists of a flexible rod that bends into an erect position for intercourse, and then bends down when not in use.



A rod implant, circa 1978


An inflatable penis implant, 1977

In this implant, an air-filled bladder is placed in the scrotum. When squeezed, the air inflates tubes in the corpus cavernosum, making the penis erect.

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