Premature ejaculation is one of the most common issues men face when it comes to their sex lives. In fact, recent studies show that 21% to 31% of Australian men experience premature ejaculation (also known as PE). However, the personal nature of PE and the hesitancy of both patients and doctors to raise the subject means that only a small proportion of those affected seek or receive medical help. Finishing too quickly during sex is something that can cause low self esteem, but there are proven treatments that can help. We discuss the symptoms and causes of premature ejaculation, treatment and medications that can help and answer some frequently asked questions about PE.
Table of Contents:
- What is premature ejaculation?
- Symptoms of PE
- Premature ejaculation causes
- Premature ejaculation treatment and medication
- Frequently asked questions about premature ejaculation
What is premature ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates sooner during sexual intercourse than he or his partner would like. If it doesn’t happen frequently it may not be cause for concern, but there are a few indicators that could cause someone to seek professional treatment:
- Always or almost always ejaculating within one minute of penetration
- Inability to delay ejaculation during intercourse every time or almost every time
- Avoiding sexual intimacy due to the feelings of distress and frustration from PE
Occasionally losing control over ejaculation is normal, particularly during the first few sexual encounters and if a man hasn’t ejaculated in a long time. PE only becomes a problem if it happens frequently. While many men who experience PE feel embarrassed talking about it, it’s a common and treatable condition.
Symptoms of PE
The primary symptom of premature ejaculation is the inability to delay ejaculation for more than one minute after penetration, but the condition isn’t limited to sexual intercourse. You might experience PE during masturbation or any other types of sexual activity.
There are two classifications of PE:
- Lifelong (primary): Lifelong premature ejaculation begins with the first sexual encounter and occurs every time or almost every time
- Acquired (secondary): Acquired premature ejaculation develops after previous sexual experiences without ejaculatory problems
Many men might feel that they have symptoms of PE, but because it doesn’t happen frequently they don’t feel the need to seek professional treatment. If you feel that this is happening more often than you’d like but don’t want to have a face-to-face conversation with your doctor, you can get diagnosed online through a 100% text-based consultation with a licensed Australian doctor on Rosemary Health.
Premature ejaculation causes
There are many different reasons you might be experiencing PE, both biological and psychological.
Biological causes of PE include:
- Chemical imbalances in the part of the brain that controls ejaculation
- Hormonal imbalances such as thyroid disease or hypertension
- Urological conditions concerning the prostate or urethra
- Hereditary traits
Psychological causes of PE include:
- Anxiety and stress about ejaculating too quickly
- Poor body image or self esteem
- Sexual abuse and negative sexual experiences
- Interpersonal problems within the relationship
Identifying and addressing the different potential psychological causes of PE can be helpful in managing symptoms.
Premature ejaculation treatment and medication
There are proven premature ejaculation treatments and medications that can be prescribed to help delay ejaculation and create a positive sexual experience, including pills and topical creams. In addition to prescription treatment plans, there are also physical and behavioural techniques for PE that can help improve performance in the bedroom.
Physical and behavioural exercises to help treat PE include:
- Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor
- Pause-squeeze technique: stimulate the penis until you feel almost ready to ejaculate, then squeeze the end of your penis where the head joins the shaft for several seconds until the urge to ejaculate passes and repeat as needed
- Start-stop technique (also known as edging): when you feel the urge to ejaculate, stop having sexual contact completely. When you feel less aroused, slowly reintroduce sexual activity and repeat as much as needed to prevent coming too early.
- Condoms to help decrease penis sensitivity
Prescription treatment plans for PE include:
- Topical creams and anesthetics that contain a numbing agent
- SSRIs prescribed at a low dose (not at a dose for mood effect) are the only pills and oral medications for PE that are approved by the TGA in Australia
- There are other medications that are currently being researched and discussed but not yet approved for use in PE
It might also be helpful to see a sex therapist or counselor either by yourself or with your partner to help identify the causes of PE.
In addition to trying physical and behavioural techniques to delay ejaculation, you can consult an online doctor to be prescribed a personalised PE treatment plan to help avoid any embarrassment or discomfort that comes with having that conversation with your regular GP.
Frequently asked questions about premature ejaculation
Is premature ejaculation curable?
While PE is treatable, there is no premature ejaculation fix or cure. However, addressing the psychological reasons behind PE could be an effective way to reduce sexual issues. Consistently practicing behavioural techniques like the pause-squeeze method could also help build a tolerance over time.
What about premature ejaculation prevention?
By practicing different physical and behavioural techniques, it can be possible to prevent finishing too early. Other common methods include masturbating before sexual intercourse and using climax control condoms.
What’s the difference between premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction?
PE is often confused with erectile dysfunction as they are both common sexual issues that men face. Erectile dysfunction is when a man has trouble getting or maintaining an erection that is firm enough for sex. Both can be caused by psychological or biological issues and can lead to distressing sexual experiences, but can both be treated with medication.
On average, how long do men last in the bedroom?
There are many different factors that can cause men to finish too early, and it often has to do with the amount of foreplay or sexual activity that causes arousal before actual penetration. There is no “normal” amount of time that men should last before ejaculation. However, studies show that average time lies somewhere between 5 and 6 minutes.
If you’re experiencing problems in the bedroom and want to talk to a real doctor without the awkward face-to-face, you can consult an online doctor for PE via Rosemary. Simply fill out a questionnaire that outlines your symptoms and medical history, a licensed Australian doctor will review within hours and, if suitable, prescribe a personalised treatment plan. With free delivery nationwide, addressing these sensitive health issues has never been easier. Start your online visit today.
- Australian Family Physician (October 2015) - Premature ejaculation: A clinical review for the general physician
- Journal of Family Practice (September 2001) - Sexual problems of male patients in family practice
- Journal of Sexual Medicine (July 2005) - A multinational population survey of intravaginal ejaculation latency time