Promescent Has a Cytotoxic Impact on Fresh Human Sperm In Vitro

Urology. 2018 Apr;114:95-98. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2017.12.027. Epub 2018 Jan 4.


Objective: To assess the impact of Promescent, a commonly used topical medication for premature ejaculation (PE), on human sperm motility, forward progression (FP), viability, and sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in vitro.

Materials and methods: Aliquots from specimens for diagnostic semen analyses from patients (n = 20) presenting to a couple's fertility center andrology laboratory for fertility testing were included after the full diagnostic semen analyses were performed. Samples that met the World Health Organization's fifth edition criteria as "normal" had Promescent applied to an aliquot of the sample and motility, FP, viability, and SDF were compared with an aliquot that was not treated with Promescent. Institutional review board exemption was obtained. Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test with a P value of <.05 considered as statistically significant.

Results: Promescent had a cytotoxic effect on sperm, which resulted in a statistically significant decrease in mean motility, FP, and viability as compared with corresponding control group samples, which did not have Promescent applied. There was no statistically significant difference in SDF between the 2 groups.

Conclusion: PE is estimated to affect up to 39% of men and is one of the most common self-reported male sexual disorders. There is an overlap among men with PE and those trying to achieve a pregnancy, and Promescent is a commonly used topical treatment for PE. Although there was no difference in SDF between the 2 groups, Promescent had a cytotoxic impact on sperm.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Local / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacology*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / adverse effects
  • Lidocaine / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Semen Analysis
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Lidocaine