Premature ejaculation – are you a sufferer? Causes & treatments

intimate couple

It is estimated that premature ejaculation affects as much as 40% of men at some stage in their lives, yet the vast majority of us find it very difficult to speak about. Since sufferers can experience great stress in their relationships – as can their partners – it is important that we do more to understand it.

If you are a sufferer of premature ejaculation who follows the right steps, it may be that you can soon have exactly the kind of sex life you hope for.

What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates before he wants during sex. However, that kind of definition is rather vague; depending on which study you go with, the average time for sexual intercourse is between two and a half minutes and five and a half minutes – and different individuals and partners may have entirely varied views on what constitutes sufficient time for sex.

It is fair to say, though, that if what you consider to be early ejaculation occurs over half the time that you and your partner attempt to have sex, or if you commonly experience anxiety as a result of feeling that you suffer from premature ejaculation, you should at least consider treatment for premature ejaculation.

What are the causes of premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation can be the result of physical issues, psychological issues, or a combination of these.

Physical reasons for premature ejaculation include:

  • an overly sensitive penis
  • problems with the prostate gland
  • problems with the thyroid gland
  • certain medications or recreational drug or alcohol use

Psychological reasons for premature ejaculation include:

  • stress – such as because of work or your relationship
  • nervousness – stress caused by the knowledge that you may struggle to satisfy your partner
  • depression – this can change how you feel about sex and prevent you from performing normally
  • conditioning – early stressful sexual experiences can have an influence in later life

Many of these example causes of psychological reasons can create a vicious circle, where it increasingly becomes difficult for the man to attempt sex anxiety-free.

How do I treat premature ejaculation?

Although there are medical treatments available for premature ejaculation, it is a good idea to explore some alternatives first. For example, simply improving your diet and general fitness may have a big impact on your ability to control when you ejaculate. Also, making an effort together with your partner to create a stress-free environment for you to have sex may see positive results.

Other things you can do that could help include:

  • masturbating 1-2 hours before you have sex
  • using a condom that is specially designed to be ‘extra safe’, ‘extra strong’ or ‘extended pleasure’
  • practice sex that is less vigorous
  • have short breaks during sex
  • practice the squeeze technique, where the partner squeezes the penis head before ejaculation can happen
  • consult a sex therapist

What medical treatments are there for premature ejaculation?

Having explored some of the practices described above, you may feel that medication is required. In this case you should see your GP or speak to the experts at UK-regulated online pharmacy Dr Fox, where we can issue a prescription and confidentially deliver the medicine following an online consultation.

The following selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressants that can delay ejaculation as a side effect.

Medications for premature ejaculation include:

  • Dapoxetine or Priligy is a specifically designed selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), to be taken around one to three hours before sex (this varies from person to person and according to the dosage).
  • Paroxetine, sertraline and fluoxetine are SSRIs that are antidepressants with delayed ejaculation as a side effect but do not have a licence for premature ejaculation. These normally start to take effect around two weeks after treatment begins.
  • Topical anaesthetic containing lidocaine and/or prilocain, such as EMLA cream, can help by making your penis less sensitive.

If you have more questions on premature ejaculation or other matters related to your sex life, you can contact Brook for help and support.