A new pill could help men with premature ejaculation last almost two minutes longer in bed, suggests a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The drug, made by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, was found to prolong your orgasm by up to 77%. It works by blocking the release of a pleasure chemical in the brain that is involved in the ejaculation process.
The researchers asked the men to masturbate three hours after taking the pill and then compared them to a placebo group. Now, they hope the findings translate to real sex after a series of other promising animal trials.
According to the NHS, the average man ejaculates after about five minutes of sex. It is estimated that up to a third of men suffer from premature ejaculation, which causes them to climax before or seconds after penetration. Men seeking treatment for the condition are usually only prescribed counseling or self-help techniques.
Researchers at the University of Verona in Italy looked at 35 men with premature ejaculation, ages 18 to 50. The participants were divided into three groups: one received 3 mg of the drug – which has not yet been named and is still known as GSK958108 -, one received 7 mg and one received a placebo.
The study was double-blind, meaning neither the researchers nor the men knew who was receiving the experimental or dummy drugs. To establish a baseline, participants were asked to masturbate about a week before starting treatment and then again after receiving a placebo or real pill.
During the masturbation sessions, patients were initially shown 20 minutes of a natural history or geography program. They were then shown 10 minutes of pornography involving vaginal and oral sex. Subjects were instructed to start masturbating by a cue and told to continue until they reached orgasm.
Participants were asked to press a foot pedal at the start of masturbation and then again at the time of ejaculation. They were asked to collect a semen sample themselves and show it to a researcher sitting in an adjoining room.
The results showed that those who received the 3 mg dose lasted 16% longer than the placebo group and those who received 7 mg lasted 77% longer. Researchers estimate that on a population level, it would make the average man with premature ejaculation last a minute and 40 seconds longer.
GSK’s drug works by blocking the uptake of serotonin, a chemical involved in mood cognition, reward, learning, memory and numerous physical processes. Specifically, it blocks a type of serotonin known as 5-HT1A, which is released during sex and tells the body when to release semen.
Previous research has shown that men with lifelong premature ejaculation often release too much of the chemical. Some antidepressants sometimes have the effect of making people last longer in bed due to their interaction with serotonin. But some can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual complaints among men, probably caused by stress, depression, relationship problems or problems with the prostate. The NHS tells men seeking help to masturbate up to two hours before sex, take a break during sex or take deep breaths before climaxing to slow it down.