Might the solution to enduring longer in bed be in the form of a moist wipe?
The marketplace offers numerous products for premature ejaculation, and a medicated wipe may appear to be one of the least expected options.
However, it seems to make perfect sense: a topical agent applied to the penis’s surface, which houses a plethora of nerve endings, would appear to be the obvious delivery method.
Sexual dysfunction is a complex problem, and premature ejaculation is no exception. However, significant evidence indicates that managing ejaculation may be as simple as employing pre-packaged wipes.
To comprehend how premature ejaculation wipes might function, it is beneficial to understand the penis’s basics. Let’s begin with a fundamental question: What exactly is premature ejaculation?
What is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common condition that affects the sexual lives of many men today. However, having one quick night does not necessarily mean you have PE. According to the World Health Organization, PE is defined as persistent or recurring uncontrolled ejaculation “with minimal stimulation before, on or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it,” which then causes distress or frustration for the sufferer and/or their partner.
To diagnose PE, the following requirements must be met:
- ejaculation with minimal stimulation,
- little or no voluntary control,
- causing distress for the sufferer and/or their partner, and
- being persistent or recurring.
Although the exact causes of PE remain unknown, we do know some possible factors responsible for this condition.
- A change in one’s brain chemistry resulting in low levels of serotonin cause the ejaculation time to be shortened. This may happen because of any biological or psychological health problem. Hormonal imbalance and abnormal neurotransmitter levels are a few of the biological factors. Anxiety, guilt, and negative body image are some vital psychological factors.
- Erectile dysfunction, where a man fails to either get or maintain a firm erection during sexual activity is another main cause.
- Relationship issues are also a probable culprit, especially if one’s past sexual experiences were pleasant and satisfying.
- A physical condition like spinal cord-related problems, urethral/ prostate inflammation, and/or infection may also cause PE.
If one is diagnosed with the above symptoms, it shows that they’re suffering from PE. In many cases, these symptoms will go away on their own. Stress relief and psychotherapy are possible ways to solve the issue if it persists for some time. However, if it sustains for a long period, like more than a couple of months, you should talk to a health consultant.
What are Premature Ejaculation Wipes?
Benzocaine, a mild topical anesthetic, is the active ingredient in premature ejaculation wipes, which are designed to decrease skin sensitivity on the head and shaft of the penis, and delay the ejaculatory response. Theoretically, low doses of benzocaine should only reduce overstimulation without causing numbness.
Most companies recommend using the wipes a few minutes before engaging in sexual activity and allowing the area to dry first. Other products that can help treat premature ejaculation include gels and sprays containing lidocaine or lidocaine-prilocaine.
A 2019 study showed that benzocaine wipes can be well tolerated, with participants reporting higher sexual satisfaction and feeling more in control of their ejaculation. The researchers also found that the product did not affect female partners’ sensitivity.
These numbing wipes come in a towelette form, discreetly wrapped, containing the desensitizing agent. Disposable PE wipes are easily available for purchase over the counter. These wipes also go by the name male genital wipes or men wipes because of the area of application and gender it serves, respectively.
How Do Benzocaine Wipes Work for Premature Ejaculation
Normally, when the nerves are stimulated, sodium (Na) activates the nerve ends and transmits signals called ‘action potential’ to the central nervous system (CNS) of the brain. This is felt in the form of sensations. But this pathway is blocked when Benzocaine present in the wipe is applied to the head of the penis. Sodium fails to activate the nerve endings, and hence, one does not feel any sensation (or very little sensation) even when the penis is rubbed. This helps in delaying the ejaculation process, giving it the name delay wipes.
Some people have a question in mind- how does it feel to use these wipes? If you have used a topical numbing cream anywhere on your body before, you know how it feels. Even if you haven’t used any, there is nothing to worry about. It isn’t painful or uncomfortable in any way. It’s just that you would not feel anything in the area of application till the effect wears off.
Are Benzocaine Wipes Effective?
Yes, they are quite effective. In 2017, Veru Healthcare introduced 4% benzocaine wipes, known as Roman Swipes, after a study found that using them before intravaginal sex could delay ejaculation by 139–323 seconds, or up to 5 minutes and 23 seconds.
The study involved 21 heterosexual adult males in monogamous relationships, with 15 using benzocaine wipes and six using placebo wipes over two months. Researchers compared the average intervaginal ejaculatory latency times (IELTs) before and after wipe usage for both groups. At the start of the study, the average IELT for all participants was 74.3 seconds. After two months, the group using benzocaine wipes reported an average IELT increase of 231.5 seconds, or 3 minutes and 51 seconds, while the placebo group reported an average IELT increase of 94.2 seconds. However, while the study suggests that benzocaine wipes may be more effective than no treatment, it does not compare the product to other premature ejaculation treatments.
A 2020 study conducted by researchers from the Park Nicollet Sexual Medicine and Male Infertility Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, examined the existing literature on various topical treatments for premature ejaculation.
According to the authors, the available evidence indicates that topical agents like local anesthetics might prolong IELT, but more research is required to assess their efficacy and potential adverse effects.
Take care while applying the wipe to properly cover the tip of the penis because it is the usual target area for the drug. You may want to wipe the shaft of the penis as well because it will numb almost all the nerves present in the penis, thus making you last even longer. It also matters how long you usually lasted prior to using the desensitizing wipes. Say, if you usually last for only half a minute, then don’t expect to last for 2 minutes after applying the wipe. You may last for a minute but not more than that. So, where you are starting also matters.
Are the PE Wipes Safe?
First, test if you are allergic to Benzocaine and only proceed if the result is negative. While these wipes are generally safer than the topical creams available in the market, rarely, users may experience some of the following side effects:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) – due to the lack of sensations in the penis
- Injuries or burns from rubbing and/or thrusting without feeling the friction
Like all drugs, Benzocaine can also have certain ill effects like-
- Tenderness around the area it’s applied to
- Irritation or itching
- Skin flaking
- Rashes or redness or a burning sensation
- Stinging sensation
In addition to the above-listed problems, Benzocaine can also lead to methemoglobinemia which is a blood condition that results in a lack of hemoglobin. Some prominent symptoms of this disease include bluish lips, nails, or skin, fatigue/ exhaustion because of lack of oxygen, headaches, and increased heart rate. This warning is mainly for children below two years of age, but adults may be at some risk too.
Pros and Cons
Premature ejaculation wipes have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- They are easily available and could potentially offer a solution for mild or occasional PE.
- They can be a good alternative for those who prefer not to take prescription medication.
- The effectiveness of these wipes requires further research to be determined.
- Although benzocaine has been FDA-approved for some forms of use, these specific products have not been evaluated by the FDA.
- There may be some side effects associated with the use of these wipes.
- They may not be a complete cure for PE.
What To Consider
When selecting wipes for premature ejaculation, there are certain factors to consider, such as:
- Treatment options: Individuals may have preferences for using methods other than wipes, including prescription medications and spray products. Some medications can be used in combination with wipes.
- Prescription medications: It’s advisable to consult a doctor to determine whether the wipes may interact with any other medications the person is taking.
- Privacy: People who value their privacy may prefer to purchase wipes from companies that provide discreet shipping and delivery options.
When to See a Doctor?
If you feel that even after using desensitizing wipes for quite some time, your PE hasn’t got any better then you should see a doctor. There are several other medical and non-medical options available that can help you. Some of them are listed below.
- An increased intake of foods containing magnesium and zinc (like garlic, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, beef, oysters, dark chocolate, etc.) helps cure PE because they’re essential for good sexual health.
- The ‘squeeze technique’, where the head of the penis is squeezed just when the man is about to reach the climax, is a commonly used behavioral therapy.
- Talking to a sex therapist can be of immense help because it will help with removing the possible emotional blocks.
- Kegel exercises are good for strengthening the pelvic muscles. It’s done by stopping and holding urine mid-way for about 3 seconds and then releasing it for the same duration. Do this at least 30 times a day (10 times per session).
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) like Poxet 60 mg and Super P Force also help to delay ejaculation.
- Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), like, sildenafil citrate and tadalafil, can also be used for PE.
Alternative Premature Ejaculation Treatments
Although benzocaine wipes have proven to be an effective treatment for premature ejaculation, there are other treatment options that may complement your problem-solving strategy. Here are some popular secondary treatments for PE:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are commonly used to treat depression by preventing the brain from depleting its supply of serotonin. An unintended consequence of taking SSRIs is delayed ejaculation, which has led some doctors to prescribe them off-label for PE. Studies involving SSRIs and sexually functional men showed significant increases in the Arab Index of Premature Ejaculation (AIPE), which measures the severity of PE.
- The Start-Stop Technique
The start-stop technique involves stopping sexual activity just before orgasm and starting again once the urge to ejaculate subsides. Experts recommend repeating this process several times. Although there have been some positive results, studies that found the start-stop technique effective also included other therapies, leaving questions about what was actually responsible for the increase in time to ejaculation.
- Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises, or kegels, can improve ejaculatory time by contracting the muscles that control urine flow and holding the squeeze for several seconds before releasing. A systematic review in the journal Physiotherapy found that pelvic floor muscle training appears effective in treating premature ejaculation for healthy men. However, success rates vary widely, and the optimal technique has not been defined by research.
- The Squeeze Technique
The squeeze technique involves gently squeezing the tip of the penis for 30 seconds just before orgasm to reduce arousal. This technique requires self-control and may cause embarrassment with a new or unsupportive partner, so it is best used as a last resort.
If you are suffering from the problem of premature ejaculation, know that you are not alone. Benzocaine wipes are one of the ways to increase your ejaculation time. They’re largely safe and effective too. But you should make some other lifestyle changes along with it, and a healthy diet is also required. Lastly, talk to a doctor if the problem persists.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (2023). PubChem Compound Summary for CID 2337, Benzocaine. Retrieved February 28, 2023 from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Benzocaine.
- Ridwan Shabsigh, Michael A. Perelman, Robert H. Getzenberg, Allison Grant, Jed Kaminetsky. RANDOMIZED, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED STUDY TO EVALUATE THE EFFICACY, SAFETY, AND TOLERABILITY OF BENZOCAINE WIPES IN SUBJECTS WITH PREMATURE EJACULATION. J. Mens. Health 2019, 15(3), 80–88. https://doi.org/10.22374/jomh.v15i3.156
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