Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse. Sex is a very intimate and personal matter, and the time it takes for a man to ejaculate during sex can vary largely. However, premature ejaculation can generally be defined as ejaculating within one minute of sexually penetrating your partner.
According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, premature ejaculation affects up to 30% of men and is considered to be the most common male sexual disorder.
According to the NHS, there are two types of premature ejaculation:
Primary premature ejaculation is mainly caused by psychological factors, such as having a traumatic sexual encounter at a young age. Other psychological factors include:
Secondary premature ejaculation also can be caused by the psychological factors above or physical factors such as drinking too much alcohol or having an inflamed prostate gland.
Unfortunately, premature ejaculation can cause a lot of stress in a relationship, as you may feel anxious and angry that you are ‘underperforming’ during intercourse. Premature ejaculation can also make fertilisation difficult for couples who are trying to have a baby if ejaculation occurs before the vagina is penetrated.
There are many types of treatments available for premature ejaculation. These include:
There are numerous self-help techniques you can try before you seek medical help. Some examples are:
As there are a range of psychological factors that can contribute to premature ejaculation such as anxiety and depression, you can seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist to address these issues. Getting help for these underlying issues will help your general mental health and may stop your premature ejaculation.
You may also want to consider getting couples therapy if you believe that factors from your relationship are causing your premature ejaculation. Your therapist will help you explore issues affecting your relationship and give advice on how you can resolve these together with your partner.
If the treatments above don’t improve your premature ejaculation, then there are several medical treatments that you can try. You should speak to your GP about premature ejaculation about possible medical treatments, such as:
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly used to treat depression, but can also be used to delay ejaculation. Priligy (dapoxetine) is a SSRI specifically designed to treat premature ejaculation. You can buy Priligy from high-street or online pharmacies such as Prescription Doctor, which allow you to order medication quickly and save you the hassle of arranging a face-to-face appointment with your GP.
Other SSRIs that may be prescribed to you include paroxetine, sertraline or fluoxetine. You’ll typically need to take these SSRIs for one to two weeks before noticing the effects.
Anaesthetic sprays and creams, such as lidocaine or prilocaine cream, can also help you prevent premature ejaculation. You should apply these products to the head of your penis around 30 minutes before sex to reduce sensation and help you delay ejaculation. However, the cream must be washed off before sex, as keeping it on will cause a loss of sensation in your penis and vaginal numbness for your partner.