What is premature ejaculation and how can it be treated?

Premature ejaculation is quite a common medical condition that occurs when a male experiences an orgasm in presence of minimal sexual stimulation or soon after penetration. In the world where a man's successfulness is judged by how long he can make love, early ejaculation can be an embarrassing problem difficult to overcome without professional help. According to a number of studies, PE is a far more common problem in younger males compared to older ones. This has to do with the fact men are likely to control themselves better as they grow older, plus they gain more experience while dating different people.

The causes of premature ejaculation

But how long is sexual penetration supposed to last to be considered successful? When do you have a problem and when is it just your unreasonable expectations standing in the way? As studies show, the period can be very different and vary from man to man. To compare, men with premature ejaculation demonstrated the average lasting time in sexual intercourse of 1.8 minutes, while the average result for men that do not experience this kind of problem was 7.3 minutes.


Dr. Siegel provides a urology consultation on premature ejaculation.

The definition of the problem, however, can be very different: some males consider the 10-15 minutes they can last insufficient, claiming they have PE and seeking medical help. Numerous studies and clinical experience of specialists working on the problem show that most couples consider any result less than 20 minutes less than satisfactory, while any ejaculation occurring in under 10 minutes is considered premature ejaculation.

The causes of early ejaculation are being debated to this day, with some scientists considering it an evolutionary aspect. From the evolutionary point of view, males that managed to have an orgasm sooner had a better chance of having children and increasing the number of people in the tribe. Therefore, many scientists now believe the tendency to climax faster is not something that's learnt, rather than something that's inherited. Many cases of PE, however, have an additional contributing factor: anxiety. When the man is anxious, embarrassed, confused etc for any reason, premature orgasm is more likely.

Mild cases of premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be quite an embarrassing problem, as not only does it affect the patient's sex life in terms of its quality, it can also create psychological problems. Ejaculating before you or your partner wanted to can effectively put an end to a new relationship or even ruin the one you have, because sexual satisfaction is quite important for both partners. This is why it's so important to find the right treatment and deal with the problem before it has a serious effect on one's personal life.

Mild cases of premature ejaculation (the ones where you are likely to climax in 5 minutes, but would rather climax in 10) may not require any treatment at all, because there are some simple techniques you can follow to distract yourself and delay the climax when nearing it.

Thinking about something completely different from what you are doing at the moment, taking advantage of new ways of penile stimulation, using gels with local anesthetic effects or ‘long love condoms’ may be some of the solutions likely to work for you and help you prolong sexual intercourse. For instance, local anesthetic gel is applied to the penis shaft several minutes prior to sexual intercourse. This method is not suitable if you or your partner happen to have a skin reaction to any of the ingredients. 'Long love' condoms are less likely to cause any unpleasant reactions as the local anesthetic is inside.

Treatment for more severe cases

More severe cases of premature ejaculation need to be discussed with a sexologist before you take any action, as methods of treatment will vary depending on your needs and budget. The following are the most common solutions for the problem of premature ejaculation: the Masters-Johnson method, taking antidepressants, using drugs administered via nasal inhalation, the cognitive behavior method and using a special constriction device. Each of those treatment options for PE need to be discussed with your doctor to make sure the method chosen is the best and most suitable one for you.

The Masters-Johnson method

The Masters-Johnson method, for instance, is designed for the treatment of premature ejaculation with both partners taking active part. The method is based on using a special penis grip technique developed by two talented therapists Masters and Johnson. The special finger grip the couple is instructed can help the man last longer, although the process of training does not take just one session. The partner is supposed to place a hand on the penis with the thumb on the one side of it, while the index and middle fingers are on the other side. The partner has to squeeze the shaft gently but firmly when the man feels the need to climax.

Special constriction device

Using a special constriction device is another option that involves wearing a ring providing mild constricting effects below the penis head. The device was designed to be worn for half an hour every day with the intention of making the penis less sensitive. Unfortunately, at this time there is no conclusive evidence on the efficiency of the device for patients with early ejaculation.

Cognitive behavior treatment

Cognitive behavior treatment is another treatment technique for PE that focuses on getting rid of any views that may have proved wrong or unhelpful in the past. The method is intended for changing the behavior of someone affected by the problem, encouraging the man to masturbate alone and stop three times on the verge of an orgasm, before ejaculating. At first, the patient has to masturbate with a dry hand, later, when a certain measure of control over ejaculation is achieved - with a wet hand. This method is efficient and valid for any man, not just those with premature ejaculation.

Drug treatment

Finally, there are special drugs designed for the problem. Certain antidepressants taken several hours before sexual intercourse (mainly from the group of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can delay ejaculation. The main disadvantage of this treatment option for premature ejaculation is that all antidepressants are powerful drugs that should be used only when clearly needed. Dapoxetine (known under a brand name Priligy) is a relatively new SSRI antidepressant used for treating early ejaculation, although the expected effects are achieved in less than 50% of patients.

Calling your health care provider

No matter which method is chosen, you should be diagnosed by a medical professional first. That way, you will know exactly which option is most suitable for you and will be able to try a few ones under your doctor's guidance, benefitting from the treatment more than otherwise. The one thing you need to remember about premature ejaculation is that even if you cannot cure it (for instance, with antidepressants, because their effects are only temporary), you can always find many ways to control it and enjoy your sex life.