Men with premature ejaculation (PE) may eventually have a new treatment option: benzocaine wipes.
Research presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in May 2017 found that men using a 4% benzocaine wipe improved their intravaginal ejaculatory latency time – the amount of time between penetrating a partner and ejaculating.
PE is thought to be the most common sexual complaint for men. It occurs in an estimated one in three men between the ages of 18 and 59, according to the AUA.
Men with PE ejaculate before they wish to, usually within 2 minutes of partner penetration. They find ejaculation difficult to control and, often, feel great distress. Unfortunately, there are few effective treatment options, although some men use creams, ointments, or sprays to desensitize the penis. Others try techniques like using condoms or masturbating before intercourse. Sometimes, sex therapy can help.
Benzocaine is a local topical anesthetic commonly used to treat pain or itching. Previous studies have tested topical anesthetics before, but those therapies were not found to be effective.
This study involved 21 men with premature ejaculation who were in heterosexual, monogamous relationships. Fifteen of them were assigned to use benzocaine wipes; the rest used placebo wipes with no anesthetic. The men also answered questions about their sexual function.
After two months, the men using the wipes saw improvements in their ejaculatory time, with many of them taking two minutes or longer to climax. These men also said they could better control their ejaculation and felt less sexual distress and more sexual satisfaction when compared to the placebo group.
"This study is encouraging in demonstrating a new and innovative way to reduce the symptoms of premature ejaculation," said AUA spokesperson Tobias S. Köhler, MD, MPH, FACS. "Premature ejaculation can cause a variety of issues related to negative feelings and emotions that can lead to problems with sexual relationships. This data shows topical 4% benzocaine wipes is a promising therapy to treat the most common form of sexual dysfunction among men."
While the study results are encouraging, benzocaine is still not an approved treatment for PE. Men who have trouble with ejaculation should see their urologist.
The study was funded by the Veru Healthcare, the manufacturer of the benzocaine wipes.
American Urological Association
“Study Demonstrates Effectiveness of Topical 4% Benzocaine Wipes to Improve Symptoms of Premature Ejaculation”
(Press release. May 13, 2017)
“'Special wipes' may curb premature ejaculation”
(May 16, 2017)
HealthDay via Renal & Urology News
“Topical 4% Benzocaine Wipes Can Reduce Premature Ejaculation Symptoms”
(May 18, 2017)
The Journal of Urology
Shabsigh, Ridwan, et al.
“PD69-02 Double-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial of Topical 4% Benzocaine Wipes for Management of Premature Ejaculation: Interim Analysis”
(Abstract. April 2017)
“Benzocaine (Topical Application Route)”
(Last updated: March 1, 2017)