Heating up pelvic nerves could halt premature ejaculation

The new therapy works by de-activating the nerve that transmits pleasure signals to the brain during sex. Patients are given a local anaesthetic and a small, hollow needle is inserted a couple of inches through the skin into the pelvis, until it reaches the dorsal penile nerve - the nerve that controls sensitivity and connects with the spinal cord to relay signals to the brain.

A tiny electrode, attached to a battery, is fed through the needle until it reaches this nerve. At the press of a button, a low-level current is passed through the electrode to heat the nerve up to the point where it is partially destroyed, the Daily Mail reports.

This reduces its ability to transmit messages to the brain during sex, allowing men to last longer in the bedroom.

The treatment, being tried on men at University Hospitals Case Medical Centre, Cleveland, in the US, is to cause just enough damage to the nerve to delay ejaculation, without wrecking its ability to ferry pleasure signals.

But it is likely to need repeating after a few months as the nerve has the capacity to repair damage done by the heat treatment.

One in four men in Britain suffer with premature ejaculation. Those affected last an average of just 1.8 minutes during sex, compared with 7.3 minutes in those unaffected.

The new technique - known as radiofrequency nerve ablation - is already widely used in the treatment of severe back pain (here it heats up nerves in the spine).

Lead researcher David Prologo said: "We're very excited that this is the first study of its kind in the world. The nerve recovers over time from the procedure, so the effects are not permanent."

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