Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD) for ED

Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD) for ED

A vacuum constriction device, sometimes used to treat erection problems (erectile dysfunction), is a tube made of plastic that fits around the penis. You coat the base of the penis with lubricant and insert the penis into the tube. Air is pumped out of the tube, which creates a vacuum. The vacuum helps blood flow into the penis, producing an erection-like state in about 5 minutes. A constrictive band is placed around the base of the penis to maintain the erection, and the tube is removed.

A vacuum constriction device (VCD, or a penis pump) helps a man get and keep an erection. Usually used for medical causes of erectile dysfunction, a VCD can also help men with anxiety-based ED.

The constrictive band may be left in place for up to 30 minutes. If you want the erection to last longer, you may remove the band for a few minutes and then repeat the process.

Vacuum devices may block ejaculation. You can still have an orgasm but may not ejaculate (release semen).

Some men say the erection is “wobbly” or has a “hinge-like” feeling, since the tissues beneath the ring on the base of the penis don’t get hard. A small number of men consider this a major problem, and it may make penetration difficult.

A prescription is not needed to buy these devices. They are reusable and should be cleaned after each use.

What is a vacuum constriction device (VCD) in concrete terms?

A vacuum constriction device (VCD) is an external pump that a man with erectile dysfunction (ED) can use to get and maintain an erection. The pump helps the penis to become erect and a band attached to the pump helps to maintain the erection.

How does a vacuum constriction device (VCD) work?

To use the device:

  • Place the pump, which can be pumped by hand or run on batteries, over the penis.
  • Pump the air out of the cylinder so that a vacuum is created. The vacuum draws blood into the shaft of the penis and causes it to swell and become erect.
  • Once the penis is erect, with the help of lubricant slide the retaining band down onto the lower end of the penis.
  • Remove the pump.
  • The band can be left on safely for up to 30 minutes to allow for successful intercourse.

What To Expect After Treatment

The device usually produces an erection, which goes away when the constrictive band is removed.

Why It Is Done

Most men who have erection problems from physical causes can use vacuum devices. Men who have erection problems because of psychological causes may also use these devices.

How Well It Works

Between 6 and 9 out of 10 men who use a vacuum device say that they are able to get an erection that is satisfactory for sexual intercourse.

Who should consider using a VCD?

Vacuum constriction devices are most commonly used to treat medical causes of ED. These causes include:

  • Poor blood flow into the penis.
  • Excess blood flow out of the penis during erection.
  • Damage to nerves that control the erection reflex.
  • Because VCDs are safe to use and have few long-term side effects, they are also sometimes recommended as a treatment for anxiety-based ED.


The risk of side effects is low, and they are usually minor. Possible problems may include:

  • Pain or discomfort.
  • Numbness or loss of sensitivity. This occurs sometimes in about half of men but is a major problem for only a few men.
  • A sensation that the penis is cold.
  • Pinching scrotal tissue in the device.
  • No significant side effects or complications have been reported.

How much does a VCD cost?

VCDs may cost from $300 to $500, depending on brand and type. Check out for the latest pricing on VCD’s.

Does insurance cover VCDs?

Most insurance policies, including Medicare, cover at least part of the costs of VCDs, especially if a medical cause for ED has been documented. Medicaid, however, does not cover VCDs.

What To Think About

Be sure to discuss using a vacuum device with your partner. It is important that both of you have realistic expectations of what the device can do. The vacuum device can give you an erection that is suitable for sexual intercourse.

For more information about penis pumps for ED, please visit

Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD) for ED
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