Premature ejaculation (PE) occurs when a man ejaculates ("comes") too soon during sexual intercourse. Often, men with PE have trouble lasting long enough to help their partners have an orgasm. This can lead to dissatisfaction with sex, stress in the relationship, and feelings of shame or anxiety. But if you or your partner suffer from premature ejaculation (PE), you're not alone. Between 30% and 70% of men have PE - it's one of the most common sexual problems in men.
Why does PE happen? The exact cause is unknown. In most cases, it's believed to be psychological, but new information suggests that there may be a physical side as well. PE is more common in younger men.
Only 1-12% of men with PE seek treatment. But PE can be treated - here's how.
Techniques you can try at home (can be used alone or in combination):
- Squeeze technique: When the man feels a state of excitement where he may ejaculate, his partner gives the head of his penis a short sharp squeeze to prevent ejaculation from occurring. Do not attempt this once the ejaculation has started.
- Stop-and-start technique: Just before the man is about to ejaculate, he and his partner stop moving and the man tries to relax and control his ejaculation. Pausing at this time gives the man a better sense of how he feels just before ejaculation. Eventually, this helps him condition his response to sexual stimulation so that he can last longer.
Don't worry if these techniques don't work right away - it may take weeks of practice to master them. You may wish to speak to a sex therapist or your doctor to help you learn the techniques. A sex therapist or counselor may also be able to help you iron out personal and relationship issues.
If you've tried these techniques and they just don't seem to work, it may be time to visit your doctor, who can refer you to other treatments that may help, such as counseling or medications. Although there are no medications currently approved for treating PE in Canada, some are being studied: topical anesthetics (to numb the penis and hopefully delay ejaculation), SSRIs (a type of depression medication believed to block chemicals in the brain involved in ejaculation), some tricyclic antidepressants and pain medications, and PDE-5-inhibitors (better known as sildenafil [Viagra®], vardenafil [Levitra®], and tadalafil [Cialis®]).
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