Penis Numbing Cream For Premature Ejaculation

Penis numbing cream is a treatment option that affects the nerves under the skin and may help delay ejaculation. Find out if it's the right premature ejaculation treatment for you.

Dr. Rachel Rubin
Board certified Urologist and assistant clinical professor in Urology
by Dr. Rachel Rubin Last updated 12/07/2023
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penis numbing cream premature ejaculation

Men who struggle with premature ejaculation (PE), which is thought to be as high as 40 percent, have various options when it comes to treatment.

Over-the-counter topical desensitizing products like penis-numbing creams are one such option.

Quick FAQs

Penis numbing cream is a topical anesthetic product that usually lidocaine based.

The main pro is that it appears to increase intravaginal ejaculatory latency time. The main con is that it can take longer to work and might not be suitable for use with latex condoms.

Lidocaine lowers the sensitivity levels in the penis, helping to prolong orgasm.

Creams for PE work much like other topical desensitization products.

Penis numbing cream contains ingredients that affect the nerves under the skin, which may help to delay ejaculation.

We’ll take a closer look at penis-numbing creams:

  • What they are
  • How they work
  • The pros & cons
  • Common side effects

What Is Penis Numbing Cream?

Penis numbing cream is a topical anesthetic product, typically lidocaine based, that is applied to the penis before sex to lower sensitivity levels and delay ejaculation.

To use the product, apply the sexual numbing cream on areas of the penis that are most sensitive, such as around the glans (head) and frenulum.

After application, the active ingredient in the cream, lidocaine, soaks through the skin and lowers the sensitivity levels of penile nerves.

This action may make it easier to control ejaculation and last longer during sex.

Lidocaine is a common topical anesthetic agent that can be found in a number of products, such as topical pain-relieving creams for burns or even gel products used to treat toothache.

Lidocaine is also the primary ingredient in Promescent Spray, which has been clinically proven to help delay ejaculation.

Pros and Cons of Penis Numbing Cream

Much like other premature ejaculation treatments, numbing creams have their own host of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Numbing Cream for Penis

The primary advantage of penis numbing cream is the fact that the product does appear to be effective.

A 2004 study of 42 men showed a substantial increase in intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) with the use of penis numbing cream made with lidocaine and prilocaine.

When using numbing cream to last longer in bed, IELT times increase from just over a minute to over eight minutes.

Other potential pros of using numbing cream for the penis include the following:

  • Low-dose penis numbing creams are available at most pharmacies without a prescription
  • Numbing cream for the penis is relatively inexpensive, with one tube offering several uses

Cons of Numbing Cream for Penis

Penis numbing cream can come along with a few cons to consider, such as:

  • The cream is an oil-based solution, which means it may not be suitable for use with latex condoms because it can degrade the material
  • Penile numbing cream may take longer to work than delay spray because of the thickness of the product
  • The cream can be harder to wipe away to avoid partner transference, so having access to a bathroom to wash hands will be necessary.
  • The cream may be messier to deal with before sex because of its consistency than other products like delay spray.
  • Not as easy to target specific areas and avoid over-desensitization.

Another thing to note is that while lidocaine cream works for premature ejaculation, delay sprays may offer an overall better experience without sacrificing performance.

For example, in a study of Promescent Desensitizing Spray, the average IELT increased to over 11 minutes from just 6.81 minutes while using the product.

Additionally, men reported an overall better sexual experience and greater outcomes with prolonged use.

How Does Lidocaine Prevent Premature Ejaculation?

Lidocaine prevents premature ejaculation by lowering the sensitivity levels in the penis.

During sex, sensitivity pushes one’s urge to reach orgasm and ejaculate.

Lidocaine is classified as a local anesthetic, which means it offers desensitization when applied topically to that targeted area. 

When lidocaine reaches the nerve endings beneath the skin of the penis, the medicine blocks the signals being sent. 

Therefore, that specific point of the penis is not as sensitive when it is touched, which prolongs orgasm.

Penis Numbing Cream FAQs

How long does it take to work?

The general recommendation is to apply the cream to the penis about 15 to 30 minutes before sex, but it’s possible to see some desensitization within just a few minutes.

In studies of PE outcomes when lidocaine cream is applied at different intervals before sex, the best outcomes were found for men who waited 20 minutes after application.

Some men who waited longer after the application, 30 to 45 minutes, actually experienced a loss of erection.

How long does penis numbing cream last?

The effects of numbing cream can last for a while, but exact outcomes can vary based on the ingredients in the product.

The better question may be, how long does lidocaine last?

Lidocaine can last different lengths of time depending on several factors, such as:

  • What type of lidocaine product is used, and what is its precise formulation
  • How much of a lidocaine product is applied
  • Personal sensitivity to lidocaine

For reference, some sources state that lidocaine cream may leave an area desensitized for up to 90 minutes.

Delay spray for men tends to wear off just a bit faster.

For example, Promescent Delay Spray effects usually last about an hour, depending on the dosage.

Will penis numbing cream transfer to my partner?

When using topical desensitizing products before intercourse, there is a chance that the effects can transfer to your partner.

However, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of transfer.

There are a few good rules to follow to deter the risks of passing the effects on to a partner.

For instance, always:

  • Apply only the minimal amount of product needed to achieve the desired level of desensitization
  • Wipe away excess cream after application with a damp towel once you start feeling the effects
  • Wash your hands after application to avoid transferring the cream to your partner through touch or during foreplay

Lidocaine Side Effects

As effective as lidocaine is for premature ejaculation, side effects are rare but possible for some individuals.

For the most part, lidocaine is considered safe.

However, adverse reactions are possible when the product is misused or misapplied. 

Some potential adverse reactions of lidocaine cream include:

  • Excessive or prolonged desensitization
  • Skin irritation in the area of application, such as itching, burning, or reddening
  • Slight edema (swelling) of the application area

Lidocaine can also come along with some contraindications with other medicines and may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.

In the event of an adverse reaction to lidocaine-based products, whether that is delay spray or numbing cream, it may be best to consider an alternative.

For example, Promescent Delay Wipes are made with benzocaine.

Benzocaine is another local anesthetic similar to lidocaine but may be less likely to cause undesirable reactions, even though its effects are not as long-lasting.


Penis numbing cream is an over-the-counter product that may be effective for problems with premature ejaculation.

Numbing cream for penis sensitivity contains a commonly used anesthetic, lidocaine. 

Lidocaine-based products (including numbing creams) are effective at delaying ejaculation. 

However, anesthetic cream for premature ejaculation can be messy to use, take a while to work, and can't be used with latex condoms.

Other products like delay spray for men may be a better option.

For more ways to enjoy sex for a longer time, be sure to take a look at the full collection of products and informational resources from Promescent.

Related Article

Dr. Rachel Rubin

Dr. Rachel Rubin

Dr. Rachel S. Rubin is a board-certified Urologist with fellowship training in sexual medicine. She is an assistant clinical professor in Urology at Georgetown University and practices at IntimMedicine Specialists in Washington DC. Dr. Rubin provides comprehensive sexual medicine care to all genders. She treats issues such as pelvic pain, menopause, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. Dr. Rubin is currently the education chair for the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) and an associate editor for the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews. Dr. Rubin has fellowship designation from both ISSWSH and the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA).


Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC (Promescent) has strict informational citing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic or research institutions, medical associations, and medical experts. We attempt to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references and only citing trustworthy sources. Each article is reviewed, written, and updated by Medical Professionals or authoritative Experts in a specific, related field of practice. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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