Sex Tips

Can Botox Be Used To Treat Premature Ejaculation?

June 4, 2014 by Justin Lehmiller


Botox is most well known for its ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face; however, it actually has a surprising number of medical applications. In fact, physicians have used it to treat everything from migraines, to excessive sweating, to eyelid and muscle spasms, to overactive bladders, to crossed eyes! Botox works as a treatment for these and other medical issues by temporarily paralyzing certain muscles. So why am I writing about Botox on a sex blog? Because doctors have found that this drug can be used to treat sexual dysfunctions too. For instance, studies have shown that Botox is an effective treatment for vaginismus, a condition in which the muscles around the vaginal opening involuntarily contract so tightly that penetration becomes very painful or impossible [1]. The latest research on Botox suggests that it may also be a novel treatment a far more common sexual difficulty, premature ejaculation.

In this study, researchers tested the effectiveness of Botox injections in the bulbospongiosus muscle of male rats [2]. This is a superficial muscle that extends from the center of the perineum to the lower portion of the penis (you can see an image of the approximate location here) and it plays a role in ejaculation. The researchers believed that by temporarily paralyzing this muscle, it would increase the length of time it takes for male rats to ejaculate.

Thirty-three male rats were randomly assigned to receive one of three injections in their bulbospongiosus muscle: a half unit of Botox, a full unit of Botox, or a saline (placebo) shot. Two days after exposure, their sexual behaviors were assessed.

Regardless of the type of injection received, all rats were still able to ejaculate afterward. However, rats injected with Botox took significantly longer than rats that received the placebo. In the placebo condition, ejaculation took a little over 6.5 minutes on average. For rats that received a half unit of Botox, this jumped to about 8.5 minutes, and for rats that receive a full unit, it took almost 10 minutes.

There did not appear to be any adverse health effects of Botox administration; however, the researchers found that rats injected with Botox mounted less frequently than rats that received the placebo. In the placebo condition, rats mounted 11.5 times on average, whereas in the Botox conditions, they mounted 7-8 times on average.

Of course, the question now is whether Botox can be used safely and effectively in human men who want to last longer in bed. We should know the answer to this in the not-too-distant future because the National Health Service in the United Kingdom is reportedly seeking participants for a clinical trial.

Even if it turns out that Botox works as well in humans as it does in rats, I’m not confident that it will ever be widely used as a treatment for premature ejaculation. For one thing, Botox is expensive, and it’s not clear exactly how much will be required to achieve the desired effect or how often maintenance doses would be required. In addition, guys would have to be comfortable with someone sticking a needle in their groin, and there are a lot of guys who wouldn’t be into that. So, there’s definitely still room for the old standards (e.g., stop-start technique, squeeze technique) that don’t require any needles or carry any potential side effects. To learn more about other treatment options for premature ejaculation, check out this article.

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[1] Pacik, P. T. (2011). Vaginismus: Review of current concepts and treatment using Botox injections, bupivacaine injections, and progressive dilation with the patient under anesthesia. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 35(6), 1160-1164.

[2] Serefoglu, E. C., Hawley, W. R., Lasker, G. F., Grissom, E. M., Mandava, S. H., Sikka, S. C., … & Hellstrom, W. J. (in press). Effect of Botulinum‐A toxin injection into bulbospongiosus muscle on ejaculation latency in male rats. Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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