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Investing in a device for erectile dysfunction (ED) isn’t as simple as trying on shoes. As long as you get the right fit, shoes always work as they should—but that isn’t the case with all ED devices.
There’s more to it than whether the device fits or not, although that’s certainly a consideration. And you don’t want to shell out money for something that may not work. If you’re wondering whether Eddie, an ED device designed by Giddy, may improve your sex life, here’s what you need to know.
What is Eddie?
Eddie is a device made by Giddy to treat ED.
Giddy reports that their device was developed with the help of urologists and ED specialists and can be used to support the natural process of getting an erection. Unlike prescription medications like sildenafil (brand name Viagra; see Important Safety Information), Eddie is available over-the-counter (OTC), meaning you don’t need a prescription to order one.
How does Eddie work?
Eddie looks a bit like a horseshoe that wraps around the base of the penis—almost like a cock ring with an opening on one side. Tension bands can then be wrapped around the open ends to apply pressure to the penis.
During an erection, blood vessels in the penis open up, increasing blood flow into the penis. It’s that influx of blood that gives you a hard erection. At the same time, blood vessels that normally take blood away from the penis get compressed, trapping blood, so your erection stays hard.
With erectile dysfunction, people may find it more difficult to get or keep an erection for long enough to have satisfying sex. Certain medical conditions make you more likely to experience ED, especially ones that affect blood flow like high blood pressure and diabetes (Selvin, 2007).
Benefits of Eddie
Eddie is an alternative for people who want to try a non-drug option for ED. It mimics the natural erection process by allowing blood to flow into the penis but not out. Giddy also claims that their Eddie device was designed to avoid constricting the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen out of your penis), allowing for a more natural and satisfying ejaculation than traditional cock rings.
Giddy reviews: does Eddie work?
Overall, reviews are mixed. Eddie by Giddy has an average rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars on the website Trustpilot and 3.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon. But most reviewers give the device either a one- or five-star rating.
The most common complaint is that buying the right size Eddie is a challenge. Even some people who left five-star reviews mentioned sizing issues. Those who found the right size report that aside from difficulties getting the tension band onto the device, it worked as promised and helped them maintain an erection.
These complaints are valid because when it comes to this ED device, size matters. If it’s too small or too big, it won’t work. Giddy does offer a “size insurance guarantee” that allows people to swap their device if they order the incorrect size. The company actively responds to reviews to help those not satisfied with their results; the most common suggestion is that the customer try a different size.
The device also stretches out eventually, which means it applies less pressure and becomes less effective over time. Giddy recommends replacing your device every six months to avoid this issue.
Safety: what are the risks of using Eddie?
There are no clinical studies on the safety of the Eddie device. Eddie is registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Class II medical device. These classes are based on the risk they pose to consumers. Most devices are in Class II, meaning they involve “medium” risk. Other devices in this category include blood pressure cuffs, CT scan machines, some pregnancy test kits, and electric powered wheelchairs (FDA, 2017).
Eddie uses tension bands for constriction. Worn around the base of the penis to restrict blood flow out can help make erections stay harder and last longer, but cutting off blood flow for too long can seriously harm the tissue in your penis.
To avoid injury, don’t wear constriction rings or tension bands for more than 30 minutes at a time, and remove the device if you experience pain or numbness in your penis (Montague, 2002).
How to get harder erections
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition, affecting more than 30 million men in the United States. The most effective treatment for ED available is a class of medications called PDE5 inhibitors, like Viagra.
These drugs work by increasing the amount of blood flow into your penis, helping you get (and keep) an erection. Since Viagra was first launched in 1998, other similar drugs were developed, including vardenafil (brand name Levitra), avanafil (brand name Stendra), and tadalafil (brand name Cialis; see Important Safety Information).
These drugs are probably your best bet when it comes to getting an erection. Each drug differs in terms of how long it works for and how quickly it goes into effect, but you can speak with a healthcare provider about which option is best for you.
Here are some other non-drug options:
Penis pumps (vacuum constriction devices or VCDs) use an electric or hand-powered pump to draw blood into the penis. Once the penis is erect, a retaining band is slid down to the base keeping blood in the shaft.
The American Urology Association endorsed vacuum constriction devices as a treatment for ED in 1996 (Montague, 1996). One survey found that over 90% of people who used them successfully achieved an erection hard enough for sex (Witherington, 1989).
Cock rings are more effective at maintaining an erection than helping you get one. They don’t draw blood into the penis the way vacuum pumps do.
Other erectile dysfunction treatments include devices, such as penile implants. Penile implants may be used if you’ve had an injury or a hormonal issue or if medications didn’t work for you. Depending on the device, up to 87% of people with penis implants are satisfied with the results (Polchert, 2021).
Shock wave therapy
Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT)—also called shock wave therapy or acoustic wave therapy—is a newer treatment for ED. Research on how well it works has shown mixed results.
LI-ESWT therapy uses shock waves to create small scars in penis tissue to stimulate healing and improve blood flow. This leads to stronger erections with the added bonus of no side effects, which can be the case with prescription medication. One meta-analysis found that men who underwent LI-ESWT therapy experienced harder erections, although the studies didn’t compare the therapy to medications (Dong, 2019).
One small clinical trial showed that following LI-ESWT treatment, participants had improved penile blood flow for up to one month. But not all studies agree. Another study that evaluated shock wave therapy didn’t find any clinically significant improvements in people with ED (Lurz, 2020; Fojecki, 2016).
Over-the-counter ED medications
While there are some non-prescription OTC options for improving erectile function, research isn’t conclusive on how effective they are.
An herbal supplement called horny goat weed contains a compound that works similarly to ED drugs. Another herb, Yohimbe, seems to be effective in people with mild cases of ED. Other natural remedies, including Korean ginseng and an amino acid called L-citrulline, have shown promise in treating ED, but more research is needed (Cormio, 2011; Borrelli, 2018).
You should avoid any products or companies that offer ED medications without a prescription, such as OTC Viagra. The FDA requires a prescription for all brand-name and generic ED drugs because they come with potentially dangerous side effects and drug interactions.
Viagra is one of the most frequently counterfeited drugs in the world. Pfizer, the company that makes Viagra, found substances such as printer ink, metronidazole (an antibiotic), and amphetamines (“speed”) when they analyzed counterfeit pills being sold as Viagra (Pfizer, n.d.).
Eddie by Giddy is only one of many ED treatment options, and the jury’s still out on how well it works. If you have concerns about your erectile function, it’s a good idea to discuss them with a healthcare professional who can work with you to find the right treatment.
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Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.