Overcoming Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most prevalent sexual dysfunction in men, with nearly 1 in 3 men experiencing PE at some point. PE is most simply defined as ejaculation that occurs before desired by both you and your partner. Although often thought to occur in younger men, studies have shown that the occurrence of PE is consistent across age groups.
Biological and Psychological Factors
The precise cause of PE is unclear, but it often involves a combination of biological and psychological factors. Biologically, PE can result from abnormal hormone or brain chemical (neurotransmitter) levels, thyroid problems, inflammation or infection of the prostate or urethra, elevated penile sensitivity, or an abnormal reflex of the ejaculatory system. You also might have inherited a genetic predisposition to PE.
Psychologically the anxiety related to maintaining an erection may cause a rush for ejaculation for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). Other anxiety-provoking factors, including performance anxiety and certain medical conditions, can also induce PE. It is believed that early sexual experiences in which sexual acts were rushed can establish a pattern of early ejaculation that is difficult to break. Finally, interpersonal relationship problems between you and your partner can contribute to premature ejaculation
PE can be classified as either lifelong (primary) or acquired (secondary). In primary PE, ejaculation nearly always occurs within the first minute of vaginal penetration and cannot be delayed. This is accompanied by negative personal consequences, such as stress, avoidance of sexual activity, and frustration. If you currently have these symptoms but have previously had sexual relationships without them, you are likely experiencing secondary PE that often has underlying psychological or interpersonal causes.
Treatment Options for Premature Ejaculation
Many treatment options are available for PE and combinations of treatment types are often the most effective. Many men have success with sexual therapy, which introduces techniques to delay orgasm, such as the “stop-start” technique. Certain medications can also delay ejaculation. This is a side effect of many common anti-depressant medications, which may improve PE symptoms when taken at a low dose several hours prior to sexual intercourse. Behavioral therapy in which you speak with a mental health provider regarding your relationships and experiences can be beneficial in decreasing performance anxiety, finding coping strategies for managing stress, and solving problems.
Premature ejaculation can be treated. See your doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.