Similar to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation (PE) is a sexual dysfunction that can negatively affect your sexual health and performance.
Premature ejaculation is when a man climaxes before they want to during sexual experiences.
People with PE tend to orgasm within 1 minute of being stimulated and cannot delay their time to ejaculation.
Although there isn’t an average time of how long someone should last during sex, if an individual has an orgasm before they want to, they will be unable to continue and enjoy intercourse.
[Check out our article, Is Premature Ejaculation Curable, to learn more about PE.]
Embarrassment about premature ejaculation can cause problems with intimacy and damage relationships for many people.
In the article below, we will talk about ways you can prevent or reduce premature ejaculation.
What’s Premature Ejaculation? How Is It Diagnosed?
PE is a common, very treatable condition that’s easy to diagnose.
Doctors estimate that about 1 in 5 men are affected by premature ejaculation.
However, a uniformly accepted medical definition still doesn’t exist.
PE is when a man ejaculates sooner than they desire or intend, usually within one minute of starting sexual activity.
This is sometimes referred to as rapid ejaculation.
Many men will experience PE at some point in their life, but it’s not an issue unless it happens consistently.
To determine whether you should be concerned about PE, you can ask yourself these three questions:
- Do you consistently ejaculate within 60 seconds of penetration or masturbation?
- Can you delay ejaculation during penetrative sex or masturbation?
- Do you regularly avoid sexual encounters due to anxiety, frustration, or embarrassment about ejaculating prematurely?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to speak to a medical professional.
But don’t worry. There are behavioral techniques and medical treatments available that can fix or prevent PE.
What Causes Premature Ejaculation?
Several emotional and psychological factors can lead to premature ejaculation.
PE can happen when you become too excited or stimulated or if you have a very sensitive penis.
Premature ejaculation can also happen during the first minute of penetration if you’re nervous or not comfortable with a new partner.
Other common psychological causes include:
- Sexual performance anxiety
- Poor body image
- Relationship problems
There are also chemical and physical factors that contribute to PE, including:
- Erectile dysfunction
- A hormonal problem with oxytocin levels or other hormone levels like luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Low serotonin levels
- Low dopamine levels
- Pre-existing health conditions
Ways You Can Prevent Or Treat PE
The Squeeze Technique
To use the squeeze method, you or your partner will stimulate you until just before the point of ejaculation.
Many men choose to do this on their own at first because vaginal penetrations tend to be too hard to control.
Right before ejaculation, you or your partner squeezes your penis where the head meets the shaft until you don’t feel the urge to ejaculate.
After that, you continue with intercourse and repeat this pattern 2 to 4 times.
This helps you become familiar with your body’s sensations so you can have more control over them.
One of the simplest things you can do is just slow down.
If there’s too much physical stimulation, you can get overly excited, resulting in PE.
Learning when to pause sex is one of the best things you can do to control your premature ejaculation.
Start taking breathers during sex.
Many couples switch to foreplay during sex.
The stop-start method, or edging, helps delay climax by drawing out pleasure.
When you feel like you are about to ejaculate, stop what you are doing right away.
When you feel less aroused, ease back into sexual activity again.
Repeat the start-and-stop method as much as necessary to help you control ejaculation.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation or strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is an effective therapy that can significantly impact how long it takes you to climax.
Peer-reviewed studies have found that pelvic floor exercises can help men dealing with lifelong premature ejaculation control their ejaculatory reflex.
This increases the time it takes for them to climax.
To perform pelvic floor exercises, you need to find the right muscles by stopping mid-stream while peeing or tightening the muscles that prevent you from passing gas.
Lay down and contract your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds, and then relax for 3 seconds.
Do this at least ten times in a row, at least three times a day.
You should gradually increase the number of seconds as your muscles become stronger.
You should also try new positions like standing, walking, or sitting down.
Don’t forget to breathe and focus only on your pelvic floor muscles.
Don’t tighten your abs, thighs, or buttocks.
Since anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues can lead to premature ejaculation, seeking the help of a psychologist, psychiatrist, or sex therapist may be helpful.
Couples therapy may also help if relationship problems may be causing your PE.
A therapeutic approach works for many men.
Many couples choose to add in more foreplay to combat premature ejaculation.
If you stimulate your partner to a state of high arousal before you have intercourse, your ejaculation and their orgasm can be achieved at about the same time.
Self-distraction is another behavioral therapy used by many men.
If you get too aroused and feel a climax coming, take a deep breath and think about something else.
Think about something very boring that “kills your buzz,” so to speak.
Make sure not to get rid of your erection completely, though, and when you are less aroused, you can continue.
Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
Erectile dysfunction drugs like phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors are not FDA-approved to treat PE, but they can be helpful.
If ED is the source of PE, your ED will be treated first.
More often than not, these oral medications will also take care of your PE.
If you have PE and ED, a PDE-5 inhibitor like sildenafil may be useful.
Change Sexual Positions
Many men with PE find success by using a sexual position that puts pressure on their penis.
A good position is the “spooning position.”
This position has been shown to prevent a male from ejaculating too quickly.
Or you could lie on your back and have your partner be on top.
Over-the-counter anesthetic creams have a numbing agent that can treat premature ejaculation by reducing sensation and delaying climax.
You’ll need to apply the cream to your penis 10 to 15 minutes before sex.
A study done in 2017 found that topical creams can help increase the time it took to ejaculate by a few minutes.
These creams are generally well-tolerated, but they can cause:
- mild pain
- mild burning sensation
- decreased libido
- a temporary loss of sensitivity
If these tactics haven’t worked for you, there are a few other things you can try.
First, you can wear thicker condoms during vaginal penetration.
Thicker condoms have been shown to reduce sensitivity in the penis.
Supplementation may also help.
Magnesium and zinc supplements may help men with premature ejaculation.
Choice Men’s Health Can Help With Your Premature Ejaculation
The first step of dealing with PE is often the hardest; talking to your GP or a sexual health professional.
Only 5% of men with PE actually think of speaking to someone.
If you are worried you are losing control over ejaculation, it’s time to speak to a certified medical professional
If you have questions about premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, Choice Men’s Health in Atlanta, Georgia, has helped countless patients over the years.