Premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual complaints in men, affecting between 20-30% of men. Promescent® is a commonly used over the counter desensitizing spray used to treat premature ejaculation. With more men choosing this treatment option, it raised the question of whether this treatment has a bad impact on sperm and potentially fertility. The team at Austin Fertility & Reproductive Medicine/Westlake IVF sought to answer this question by performing basic science experiments to assess the impact on sperm. Twenty specimens collected for diagnostic semen analyses were selected after they were analyzed and found to be normal based on WHO 5th edition criteria. Half of each sample remained untreated while the other half was exposed to Promescent®.  The portions treated with Promescent® impacted the sperm by diminishing the motility, forward progression, and viability to zero. The impact on the sperm was devastating.

Dr. Parviz Kavoussi states, “This is an important finding that requires further assessment. Now that we know that Promescent® has such a deleterious impact on sperm in vitro in the lab, we need to study the impact clinically to further support the premise that couples who are trying to conceive should avoid the use of Promescent® at the time of ovulation or planned assistance. This is much like the recommendations made to not use vaginal lubricants at these times of trying to conceive.”  The presentation of this data brought attention to this concern among the reproductive scientific community at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine annual meeting.