Between 30 and 40 per cent of men experience Premature Ejaculation (PE) in their lifetime. According to an NHS study on sexual intercourse, the average length of time before ejaculation is five minutes and thirty seconds. While there is no “normal” that men should aspire to when it comes to ejaculation, if you are finding that sexual intercourse does not last as long as you and your partner would like it to on a regular basis, then it is possible to seek treatment for premature ejaculation. Medicinal and natural methods are available to tackle the underlying issues that are affecting you.
What Is Premature Ejaculation and Why Does It Occur?
Premature ejaculation, or PE, occurs when a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse. Men who have low levels of serotonin in their brains tend to take a shorter time to ejaculate, but stress, depression and performance anxiety can also play a part in causing you to ejaculate sooner than you would like. If you suffer from Erectile Dysfunction (ED) you are also more likely to experience PE.
The NHS defines premature ejaculation as “regularly ejaculating within one minute of entering your partner”, however, duration of intercourse varies greatly depending on numerous factors and, ultimately, as long as you and your partner are satisfied, there is no need to worry.
Types of Premature Ejaculation
There are two types of PE:
- Primary premature ejaculation, where you have always had the problem
- Secondary premature ejaculation, or “acquired premature ejaculation”, where you have recently developed the problem.
Primary premature ejaculation often occurs for psychological reasons, such as having difficult sexual experiences at an early age. Secondary premature ejaculation can be caused by physical factors, such as drinking too much alcohol and inflammation of the prostate gland, or psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety.
Secondary premature ejaculation can also be caused by a feeling of excessive pressure to perform, and, in fact, the more pressure men feel during sex, the more likely they are to suffer from PE.
Diagnosing Premature Ejaculation
In order to diagnose PE, your doctor will ask about your health history and the difficulties you are currently experiencing in your sex life. They may also undertake a physical examination and order blood tests to check your levels of testosterone and rule out Testosterone Deficiency (TD) as a cause of your premature ejaculation issues. If psychological issues are considered to be a factor, your doctor may suggest that you seek the assistance of a mental health professional who specialises in sexual dysfunction.
Medical Treatments to Prevent Premature Ejaculation
There are several medicines available to treat and help prevent PE.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Dapoxetine, can be used to delay ejaculation. Most can be used “on demand”, and are usually designed to be taken one to three hours before sex but not more than once a day.
You will need to wait between one and two weeks to see whether an SSRI has had the desired effect, but if it does not help, your doctor may prescribe an anaesthetic cream or spray, such as Fortacin. These work by making your penis less sensitive and are particularly effective when combined with a thick condom, which helps to decrease sensation. Over-the-counter topical anaesthetic creams can also be used to treat PE, with several excellent options available to purchase online from The Mann Clinic.
In some cases, a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil or tadalafil, can be used to help treat premature ejaculation. This may be prescribed in combination with an SSRI.
Natural Treatments and Behavioural Techniques to Prevent Premature Ejaculation
There are several natural ways to treat premature ejaculation and prevent it from occurring. These include:
- Masturbating an hour or two before sex
- Pelvic floor exercises — kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles so that you are better able to delay ejaculation
- Taking a deep breath to briefly shut down the ejaculatory reflex
- Having sex with your partner on top, so that they can pull away when you are close to ejaculating
- Taking breaks during sex and distracting yourself from your desire to ejaculate (this is sometimes referred to as the “start-stop” technique)
- Using the “squeeze” technique to delay ejaculation — this works by squeezing the penis between the shaft and the glans for about thirty seconds, just before you are about to ejaculate. You can repeat this process until you decide not to delay orgasm anymore
- Thinking about something else that is distracting or boring
- Considering relaxation methods such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture to help ease any anxiety issues you may be facing.
You may also wish to consider sex therapy or couples therapy if you are in a long-term relationship. This will allow you to explore issues that may be affecting your relationship and receive advice on how to “unlearn” the habit of premature ejaculation.