Sex Tips

The Newest Treatment For Premature Ejaculation Might Be Botox

March 18, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

Botox is well known for its ability to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles; however, it has a surprising number of medical applications beyond this. In fact, physicians have used Botox to treat everything from migraine headaches 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 very specific sets of muscles.

So why am I writing about Botox on a sex blog? Because doctors have found that this drug can also be used to treat sexual dysfunctions. For example, 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 painful or impossible [1]. This isn’t the only sexual difficulty for which Botox might help, though. In fact, new research suggests that it may be a novel treatment for premature ejaculation, too.

In one 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 (for an image of the approximate location, see here) and plays a role in ejaculation. The scientists who led this study predicted that temporarily paralyzing this muscle 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 the 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 could still ejaculate afterwards. However, rats injected with Botox took significantly longer to do so than rats that received placebos.

In the placebo condition, ejaculation took a little over 6.5 minutes on average. For rats receiving a half unit of Botox, this jumped to about 8.5 minutes, whereas for rats that received a full unit, it took almost 10 minutes.

There did not appear to be any negative health effects of Botox administration on rats; however, those 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.

The question now is whether Botox can be used safely and effectively in human men who want to last longer in bed. Believe it or not, we may know the answer to this question later this year. On (a website run by the U.S. National Institutes of Health), there is listing for “a safety and efficacy study of Botox in premature ejaculation.” Data collection for this clinical trial is expected to be completed in December.

That said, no matter how the results of this trial turn out, I’m not confident that Botox will ever become widely used as a treatment for premature ejaculation. For one thing, Botox is an expensive drug, and it’s not clear exactly how much will be required to achieve the desired effect or how often maintenance doses would be needed. Likewise, it’s unclear what (if any) potential side effects there might be.

In addition, guys would have to be comfortable with someone sticking a needle in their nether regions, and I’m pretty confident that there are a lot of guys who wouldn’t be into a treatment like this. So, there will probably always still be room for the old standards (e.g., the stop-start technique, the squeeze technique, desensitizing agents such as Promescent) that don’t require any needles or carry any 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. (2014). Effect of Botulinum‐A toxin injection into bulbospongiosus muscle on ejaculation latency in male rats. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11, 1657-1663.

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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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