Premature Ejaculation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates sooner during sexual intercourse than he or his partner would like. Premature ejaculation is a common sexual complaint. Estimates vary, but as many as 1 out of 3 men say they experience this problem at some time.

Premature Ejaculation Causes and Risk Factors

The cause is not really known. But your brain chemistry could be at least partly the reason. Men who have low levels of the chemical serotonin in their brains tend to take a shorter time to ejaculate.

Emotional factors can play a role:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Relationship problems
  • Lack of confidence or poor body image
  • Concern over your sexual performance
  • Negative feelings about the idea of sex (sexual repression)

Some physical conditions may also cause PE, including:

  • Unusual hormone levels
  • Irregular levels of neurotransmitters (an imbalance of the chemicals in your brain that pass messages or impulses to the rest of your body)
  • Inflammation or an infection in your prostate or urethra (the tube that runs from your bladder and sends pee out of body)
  • Genetic traits you inherit from your parents

Sometimes PE can be a problem for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). That’s when the penis doesn’t remain firm enough for sex. Men who are worried they could lose their erection may develop a pattern of rushing to ejaculate. It can be a hard habit to break.

Treating the erectile dysfunction may make the premature ejaculation go away. There are many medication options.  

Premature Ejaculation Treatments and Home Remedies

Ninety-five percent of men are helped by behavioral techniques that help control ejaculation.

1. Find a sexual position that promotes delay

There are numerous sexual positions, such as spooning, that can help men last longer. Try lying down side-by-side with the woman in front, and allow the man to enter the woman from behind. Gently rock together until you both reach climax.

‘This is an intimate position and it helps him to last longer because the penetration is quite shallow, ensuring he is not overstimulated,’ says Knight. ‘It also forces you to move slowly and subtly, since he’s likely to fall out if he gets too enthusiastic.’

2. Control your orgasm by ‘peaking’

‘Peaking’, the key activity in tantric sex, is an excellent way of improving both male and female sexual performance. ‘Men can get better control of arousal by pinpointing their personal point of no return and learning how to stay just below that during sex,’ explains Knight.

‘They then build-up again to the point of climax and refrain once again,’ she adds. ‘Doing this regularly allows men to gain better control of their orgasm and last longer in bed. It’s also fun to get almost there and rest – making the final orgasm even more explosive.’

You can both practise ‘peaking’ together – each almost reaching the point of no return together before resting. The dream scenario is that you both eventually climax together in a simultaneous orgasm! If this doesn’t happen overnight, don’t stress. Practising is half the fun, so enjoy experimenting together.

3. Try orgasm delay sprays

Desensitising creams and sprays temporarily relieve premature ejaculation. They cause a temporary local numbness, which delays ejaculation and allows for a longer-lasting sexual encounter.

‘These are now quite effective and inexpensive,’ says Knight. ‘Lovehoney do an excellent delay lubricant, which helps to desensitize the penis and helps him last longer.’

4. Wear a condom to delay ejaculation

As well as all the other benefits of condoms, they can also help delay ejaculation by adding another layer of friction.

‘Even with the thinnest condom, the sensation is reduced a little and this allows men to last a little longer,’ says Knight. ‘Please remember that even with the very best brands, the thinner the condom, the more likely it is to tear, so be careful and check the condom mid-sex if you are worried that it might have ripped.’

5. Masturbate more to delay ejaculation

Masturbation can work both for and against you with premature ejaculation so experiment and see what works best for you. ‘Do it just before a sex session and you’ll last longer with your partner if you have sex a few hours later,’ says Knight. ‘The chances are your orgasm the second time around won’t be quite as intense.’

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