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The Naked Truth The Sexual Health Blog

Staying Power

August 19th, 2011 by David Sobel, MD, JD

A new spray-on treatment for premature ejaculation (PE) called PSD502

New treatment for premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation (PE) affects about 30% of all men. That’s why a new topical spray to prevent PE is creating quite a buzz.

As a urologist specializing in sexual medicine, most of my patients seek care for hypogonadism (when the sex glands don’t produce enough testosterone); Peyronie’s disease (an abnormal curvature of the penis during erection); erectile dysfunction; and early ejaculation (commonly known as premature ejaculation, or PE).

While most men are embarrassed to talk about early ejaculation, the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors and other sources suggest that PE affects approximately 30% of men across all age groups…in other words, early ejaculation or early climax is a common problem.

We can’t pinpoint any specific causes of early ejaculation, which can include both psychological and biological factors. But known risk factors include anxiety and stress (emotional or mental strain in your relationship or other aspects of your life), abnormal reflexes or hormone levels, abnormal levels of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), thyroid problems or other health concerns.

And, unfortunately, the stigma of early ejaculation can lead men to feel ashamed or humiliated, and unwilling to be intimate with their partners.

To date, treatment for early ejaculation includes everything from sex therapy and anti-depressants to topical anesthetic creams and other de-sensitization techniques (e.g., using a condom or other means to numb the nerves of the penis, thereby prolonging ejaculation).

That’s why there’s a lot of buzz around a promising new treatment on the horizon for PE sufferers. At the American Urology Association’s 2010 annual meeting, news spread fast about a topical spray (PSD502) that can significantly prolong the time until ejaculation occurs. Researchers found that men with PE who used the experimental spray lasted five to six times longer than without the medication.

Simply put, PSD502 is a combination of anesthetics (lidocaine and prilocaine) that numb the penis, allowing men to maintain their erections longer during intercourse.

How does it work? In the research study, participants would spray a few pumps on the head of the penis a few minutes before intercourse. That was it.

If PSD502 gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it will be the first prescription treatment for PE. Priligy, another PE treatment, is also pending FDA testing and approval…this drug is traditionally used to treat depression and anxiety.

While the potential of new treatments to address early ejaculation is exciting, I always remind my patients not to confuse sex with intimacy. Penetration alone doesn’t ensure a satisfying and meaningful sexual experience…kissing, cuddling and oral sex are just some of the many other ways in which couples can connect, give each other pleasure and build intimacy.

Photo: Flickr user Andrew Magill, CC.2.0

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    Mukee Okan on Aug 25, 2011

    I absolutely agree with not confusing sex with intimacy! Feeling connected with your partner and making love to them is so much better than a mechanical sexual intercourse.