Delay sprays and condoms do exactly as their name suggest - they delay ejaculation during sex. Yet how do you know which one works better, and which one fits your needs? In this article, we break down Premature Ejaculation (PE), compare how delay condoms and sprays work, explore whether anesthetics are safe to use on the penis, and conclude by exploring the pros and cons of both products when dealing with PE to help you decide which one you should choose.
Premature Ejaculation (PE) is a condition where a man ejaculates sooner than desired before or shortly after commencing sexual activity or sexual penetration.
PE may occur due to both psychological and physical factors. At the same time, conditions such as Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can increase the risk of PE occurring. Fear of losing an erection after facing issues maintaining an erection may cause a person to hurry through sex, resulting in early ejaculation.
Psychological causes of PE include:
• Depression or anxiety
• Expecting failure
• Traumatic sexual experiences from an earlier age
• Issues within the relationship
Physical causes of PE include:
• Abnormal hormone levels
• Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain)
• Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
• Inherited traits
Several kinds of treatment can help with managing PE, including delay sprays and delay condoms which help to delay ejaculation.
Delay sprays help men last longer during sex by reducing sensitivity in the most sensitive areas in a man’s penile to delay ejaculation. They contain a local anesthetic such as benzocaine or lidocaine that work to numb the hypersensitivity of the penis, hence preventing premature ejaculation.
Today, there are many brands and types of delay sprays available in the market. They are a controlled medication in Singapore and are not available over-the-counter, so you will require a doctor’s prescription to get them. Levels of sensitivity differ from person to person, so you may need a few sprays before you feel a desired level of numbness. If you’re just starting out, you should use one to two sprays since it’s better to have too little than to add too much. Apply the spray onto the head and shaft of the penis, then rub it in circular motions until it’s absorbed. From there, it may take around 10 minutes for the spray to start working.
Delay condoms work similarly to sprays in the sense that the same ingredients are used to produce a similar effect. They are lined with a lubricant that contains benzocaine or lidocaine that work to numb the penis and prevent overstimulation.
In essence, they work the same as normal condoms so you can simply look for condoms that have either benzocaine or lidocaine as its ingredients in the lubricant. These condoms are easy to find in most stores, and are often marketed with phrases like “extended pleasure” and “delay”. It is said that these condoms can extend sexual performances by up to 15 minutes.
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic used to numb a specific area. It has been FDA-approved since 1948, and is a widely used product that is considered both safe and effective at decreasing sensation at the part of the body where it’s applied. It is also used to reduce pain or discomfort caused by sunburn, insect bites, burns, and scratches.
Similarly, benzocaine is also a local anesthetic that is applied to numb a specific part of the body. It was approved for medical use in 1902, and has been generally well-tolerated. Other than delay sprays and condoms, benzocaine can also be found in products that reduce the pain of toothaches, sore throats, skin irritation or itching from insect bites or cuts.
There have been allergic reactions to benzocaine, while adverse reactions to lidocaine are considered rarer. In such cases, people can switch products since both more or less have the same effect. According to a 2014 study, 2.4% of people experience allergic reactions to local anesthetics, with the most common allergen being benzocaine (45%), followed by lidocaine (32%).
The possible side effects of lidocaine and benzocaine, as with many products applied on the skin, include:
• Mild stinging, burning, or itching
• Skin tenderness or redness
If you experience any severe side effects, call your doctor immediately for advice. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction, which include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of your genital area or face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Overall, both lidocaine and benzocaine are commonly used and well-tested anesthetics that have been well-tolerated by many people. They are safe to use on the penis, though if you are allergic to either anesthetic, you should not use delay sprays or condoms containing it as treatment.
Delay sprays last up to an hour after application, and are considered an effective treatment for PE. Lidocaine is also used as an effective pain reliever - in fact, if you’ve ever had a root canal surgery, you might’ve had lidocaine applied onto your gums by your dentist.
A pilot study in 2003 tested the effects of lidocaine-prilocaine (LP) aerosol, and found that using the spray increased the average intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IVELT) of patients by as much as eight times. IVELT refers to the time taken by a man to ejaculate during vaginal penetration and is one the key interrelated determinants of PE, so a large increase in IVELT reflects the effectiveness of such sprays in helping to delay ejaculation.
A 2016 study on a lidocaine-based delay spray showed that use of the product led to a significant increase in ejaculatory latency time (amount of time taken to ejaculate), improved quality of the sexual experience, as well as more frequent and intense orgasms. 91 men with self-reported subjective PE completed the trial, and they found that the product was easy to use without interrupting their sexual appearance.
A fair bit of research has been done on delay sprays that have proven its effectiveness in improving PE. With sprays, you can also adjust the dosage according to your own preference. Different people have different levels of sensitivity, so it may take a few tries to find the optimal level of dosage that works best for you.
At the same time, do keep in mind that underdosing or overdosing can reduce the efficacy of the product. It’s important to start off with one to two sprays before you try to increase the dosage. Overuse of the spray could lead to temporary loss of sensitivity, skin irritation or excessive numbness.
The spray also doesn’t offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), nor is it a contraceptive product, so you’ll need to use a condom or another form of protection in addition to the spray to stay safe during sex.
Research into the effects of delay condoms is limited, but the use of condoms can help to decrease penis sensitivity or sensation during sex to delay an orgasm. A 2007 study on sexual pleasure and condom use found that latex condoms do reduce tactile sensation. When coupled with anesthetics such as benzocaine or lidocaine, delay condoms are highly likely to be beneficial in delaying ejaculation due to the reduction of sensitivity of the penis.
However, finding a suitable condom for yourself might take more time and effort than you think. This is because sensitivity may differ from person to person and you may need to try different types, brands, or even sizes of condoms before you find one that suits your needs. Some condoms may use more or less anesthetic, which can affect the level of sensitivity of your penis when worn.
It is recommended that you use a condom for safe sex. Hence, it might be simpler to try using a delay condom since it kills two birds with one stone. Besides delaying ejaculation, delay condoms can help protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and of course reduce the possibility of pregnancy occurring.
If you’re experiencing PE, using delay condoms or sprays are indeed a viable option. They are considered low-risk and can be your first line of treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of PE.
Overall, both delay condoms and delay sprays work towards the same effect - the anesthetic helps to reduce penis sensitivity and slow down ejaculation. However, more research has been conducted on the efficacy of delay sprays, and the flexibility it allows in adjusting the dosage to suit your needs does seem to tilt the scale in favour of sprays.
If your symptoms persist, you should check in with a licensed doctor to evaluate the root cause of the issue and receive professional advice.
With Noah, a digital health clinic for men in Singapore, you can speak to a doctor and get the PE treatment that you need from the comfort of home. PE is a treatable condition and can be improved through medication, behavioural therapy, or a combination of the two. Doctors on our platform are best equipped to help you determine the best course of action and can prescribe you with the right medication should you need it.
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Articles featured on Noah are for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. If you're looking for a healthcare provider, click here.