Premature ejaculation is a common problem experienced by many men worldwide. Research suggests that as many as 1 in 3 men experience this problem at some point in their lives. Premature ejaculation is defined as when a male ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse, or when a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner would like during sexual intercourse. A person may be diagnosed with premature ejaculation if they always or nearly always ejaculate within one minute of penetration, or if they are unable to delay ejaculation during sexual intercourse all or nearly all of the time. If you are experiencing premature ejaculation and are feeling distressed about it, you may start avoiding sexual intimacy, which may lead to other relationship problems with your partner.
There are two different types of premature ejaculation: primary premature ejaculation and secondary premature ejaculation. Those with primary premature ejaculation typically have had symptoms since the beginning of their sexual encounters, while those with secondary premature ejaculation would describe someone who has only recently started experiencing symptoms. The causes of primary premature ejaculation are often related to a traumatic sexual experience at a young age, poor body image and depression. On the other hand, the causes of secondary premature ejaculation could be related to both physical as well as psychological factors.
It is good to know that premature ejaculation can be treated in a variety of ways. If you think your premature ejaculation could be due to physical causes, it may be helpful to see your doctor to help treat the underlying condition. Some physical causes of premature ejaculation may include abnormal hormone levels, chemical imbalances in the brain, or an inflammation of the prostate or urethra. Your doctor may help you alleviate the problem of premature ejaculation by asking about your medical history, and possibly ask you to carry out some tests, so that you may then see what treatment options are available.
If your premature ejaculation is caused by psychological factors, individual and/ or couples’ therapy with a qualified may help to address the problem. The aim of psychotherapy would be to learn how to control ejaculation, as well as to manage the effects that premature ejaculation can have on the male, his partner as well as their overall relationship. The therapist may support you with issues such as self-esteem, performance anxiety and interpersonal conflict that may be related to you experiencing premature ejaculation. Your therapist may also help you learn sexual skills and techniques that may help to treat premature ejaculation (Althof, 2016).
There are also a number of self-help techniques that you can try to help to alleviate the problem with premature ejaculation:
- Masturbating an hour or two before sexual intercourse in order to delay ejaculation during sex
- Using a thick condom to help with decreasing penis sensitivity, which can help you to delay ejaculation
- Pelvic floor exercises so as to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which will eventually help you to be able to delay ejaculation
- Using the pause-squeeze technique, where your partner would squeeze the end of your penis (where the head joins the shaft), and maintain the squeeze for a few seconds until the urge to ejaculate passes.
Pamela is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.
Althof, S.E. (2016). Psychosexual therapy for premature ejaculation. Translational Andrology and Urology, 5, 475–481.doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.05.15
Mayo Clinic (2020). Premature ejaculation: Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ejaculation/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354905
NHS (2020). Can premature ejaculation be controlled? Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/can-premature-ejaculation-be-controlled/#:~:text=Other%20SSRIs%20that%20may%20be,making%20your%20penis%20less%20sensitive.