As many as one in three people have trouble with uncontrolled or early ejaculation at some point in their life. When premature ejaculation happens so frequently that it interferes with the sexual pleasure alone or with their partner, it becomes a medical problem.
Some will have premature ejaculation from the time of their first sexual experience (lifelong), while in others, it will develop after a period of normal sexual activity (acquired).
If it happens infrequently, there’s no cause for concern. However, you might be diagnosed with premature ejaculation if you:
- Always or nearly always ejaculate within one minute of sexual penetration
- Are unable to delay ejaculation during intercourse all or nearly all of the time
In the past, experts thought that premature ejaculation was all psychological. However, it is now thought that some people (particularly those with lifelong premature ejaculation) have a chemical imbalance in the brain controlling this function, which can, in turn, lead to associated psychological problems, such as performance anxiety.
Other factors can include:
- Early sexual experiences
- Sexual abuse
- Poor body image
- Religious beliefs
- Worrying about premature ejaculation
- Guilty feelings that increase your tendency to rush through sexual encounters
- Relationship issues
- Erectile Dysfunction
Speaking to your doctor or seeking help from a sex therapist is a good place to start. Treatments for premature ejaculation will vary depending on the cause and whether it is lifelong or acquired premature ejaculation.
Other treatment options include:
- Behavioural techniques – these include the Semans ‘stop-start’ technique and the Masters and Johnson ‘squeeze’ technique
- Kegel exercises
- Psychotherapy and counselling
- Reducing penile sensation
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and tricyclic antidepressants
- If the premature ejaculation is associated with erectile dysfunction, erectile dysfunction treatments such as PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra©, Cialis©, Levitra©) can help restore control of ejaculation.
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This guide is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.