The study was presented May 13 at a meeting of the American Urological Association. Findings presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“This study is encouraging in demonstrating a new and innovative way to reduce the symptoms of premature ejaculation,” AUA spokesman Dr. Tobias Kohler said in a meeting news release.
“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 percent benzocaine wipes is a promising therapy to treat the most common form of sexual dysfunction among men,” he said.
Kohler is associate professor and residency program director at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
But Samadi brought up one potential downside: benzocaine’s effect on the man’s sex partner.
“The study has not mentioned a common problem of using topical anesthetics, which is absence of an orgasm in the female partner,” Samadi said. “Topical anesthetics can be absorbed through the vaginal wall and reduce the partner sensation if a condom is not used.”
Dr. Harris Nagler is a urologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He reviewed the study and agreed that the wipes are a “novel technique for application of topical anesthetic to decrease penile sensitivity and premature ejaculation.”
But he added that the study was small and was also too vague about a number of factors, such as a “lack of consistency of measurement of time to ejaculation.”
And Nagler said topical anesthetics won’t help every man battling premature ejaculation.
That’s because the treatment has “also resulted in erectile dysfunction in some men due to penile numbness, and vaginal insensitivity — affecting partner satisfaction,” Nagler said.
“However, it is reasonable to assume that there would be men who would benefit by this novel approach,” he said.