Premature ejaculation (PE) refers to a condition in which a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner would like during sexual activity. It is a common sexual concern that can cause distress and may impact the satisfaction of both partners. While there is no universally agreed-upon definition of “premature,” if ejaculation consistently occurs within one minute of penetration or before the person desires it, it is often considered premature ejaculation.
Causes of Premature Ejaculation
- Psychological factors: Anxiety, stress, performance anxiety and relationship issues can contribute to premature ejaculation.
- Biological factors: Some men may have a genetic predisposition to ejaculate quickly, while others may have abnormalities in the levels of neurotransmitters or hormones involved in sexual function.
- Erectile dysfunction: In some cases, premature ejaculation may be secondary to erectile dysfunction. The fear of losing an erection may lead to rushing sexual activity and, subsequently, premature ejaculation.
Treatment Options for Premature Ejaculation
- Behavioural techniques: Various techniques can help improve control over ejaculation. These include the start-stop technique, where sexual stimulation is paused when nearing climax and then resumed, as well as the squeeze technique, which involves applying pressure to the base of the penis to reduce arousal.
- Counselling or therapy: Psychological counselling can address any underlying psychological factors contributing to premature ejaculation. Techniques such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or sex therapy can be helpful.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are sometimes prescribed off-label to delay ejaculation. These medications increase the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can have a delaying effect on ejaculation. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance and to discuss potential side effects.
- Topical anaesthetics: Over-the-counter or prescription numbing creams or sprays containing lidocaine or prilocaine can reduce penile sensitivity and help delay ejaculation. They should be applied as directed, following the instructions provided.
- Combination therapy: Sometimes, a combination of behavioural techniques, counselling and medication may be recommended for more effective management of premature ejaculation.
Remember, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a urologist or sexual health specialist, who can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the most suitable treatment options for your specific situation. They can offer personalised advice and help you find the most effective approach to managing premature ejaculation.