What is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is a type of sexual dysfunction that affects men. This condition goes by many names including:
- Premature climax
- Rapid ejaculation
- Early ejaculation
- Rapid climax
Just as the names imply, this condition occurs when a man ejaculates with minimal penile stimulation soon after beginning sexual intercourse. This results in the sexual act ending before either partner is ready for it to end, which can cause a great deal of distress for both parties. Ejaculation is premature when it occurs 30 seconds to 4 minutes after penetration.
Although there are many types of male sexual dysfunctions, early ejaculation is considered to be the most common problem. Prevalence rates vary, but it’s estimated that 1 out every 3 men will experience it at some point in their lives.
Premature ejaculation can either be primary (lifelong) or secondary (acquired). In the latter case, symptoms develop after you have had previous sexual encounters without experiencing ejaculatory problems. With lifelong or primary cases, afflicted individuals struggle to delay ejaculation nearly all the time ever since their first sexual experience.
The good news is that PE is treatable. Keep reading to learn more about symptoms and causes of this condition plus ways to stop premature ejaculation.
Symptoms of Premature Ejaculation
It’s neither abnormal nor uncommon for a man to experience early ejaculation sometimes. This happens to most men when they’re new to sexual activity, have not had sexual encounters for a long time, or become overly aroused when with a new partner. However, if premature ejaculation occurs frequently and ends up causing issues in your sex life, then there’s cause for alarm.
There is a high chance that you might have this condition if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- The inability to delay an orgasm for more than one minute after commencing sexual intercourse.
- Ejaculation that always occurs within a minute during intercourse or masturbation.
- An unshakable feeling of frustration and distress about sexual performance that causes you to a avoid intimacy.
Most men do not like to talk about premature ejaculation because they see it as an embarrassing subject to bring up. However, talking about it openly and constructively could very well avert relational conflicts and other sexual problems like low libido and erectile difficulties.
Causes of Premature Ejaculation
The causes of premature ejaculation remain largely unclear. Many theories have been suggested to explain why this sexual dysfunction occurs, but there’s little evidence to back them up. As a result, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of rapid ejaculation unless you’re suffering from a medical condition that’s directly responsible.
Men with a previous history of normal ejaculation can develop acquired premature ejaculation due to injuries or medical conditions such as spinal cord trauma, hypertension, diabetes, prostate disease, multiple sclerosis, or thyroid dysfunction. Certain prescription medications as well as poor lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking and drug abuse could also be responsible.
Some men have primary premature ejaculation. This means that they have continued to struggle with this condition since their first ejaculation. In such cases, the main cause could either be a biological or psychological factor.
- Psychological Factors that Cause Early Ejaculation
Several psychological factors have been hypothesized as one of the causes of premature ejaculation, which include:
- Early Sexual Habits
Some therapists believe that young men are inadvertently encouraged by experiences from their early sexual life to form a habit of ejaculating rapidly. These experiences can include masturbating hastily to avoid being caught (or to quickly get the newfound feeling of orgasm), or rushing through a sexual encounter on the family couch or at the back seat of a car.
With time, such experiences condition the mind to rush through sexual activity and this becomes an ingrained habit that is difficult to break.
- Traumatic and Embarrassing Sexual Experiences
Premature ejaculation can sometimes be borne out of sexual anxiety, which some men find hard to shake off when they remember an embarrassing or traumatic sexual experience they went through.
For example, being caught masturbating or sexual abuse are some of the humiliating and traumatizing experiences that can cause a young man to unknowingly condition his mind to ejaculate quickly later on in life during sexual encounters.
- Cultural Perceptions and Upbringing
In some cultures, sexual intercourse is considered to be an intimate experience only shared by married couples. Men brought up in such strict cultural backgrounds may find it difficult to relax when having sex, especially if the act is committed during courtship or outside of wedlock.
- Anxiety and Stress
Often, distressed men tend to ejaculate quickly during intercourse, thereby failing to give their partners a longer and mutually satisfying experience. In such situations, anxiety, stress or depression can play a role in causing early ejaculation.
The root cause of such emotional difficulties can stem from one’s social, sexual, or even financial life.
- Biological Factors
Biological factors that contribute to premature ejaculation can be complex. These causes may include:
- Abnormalities with levels of neurotransmitters and brain chemicals
- Erratic hormone levels
- Lack of control over ejaculatory reflexes
- Infections that cause inflammation in the prostate or urethra
- An overactive or under-reactive thyroid
Recent studies also suggest that early ejaculation can be an inherited trait. Some researchers have found that a number of men who suffer from this problem have a close relative such as a father, brother, or son who also suffers from or had premature ejaculation.
However, the association between an inability to delay ejaculation and genetic influences is yet to be proven as existing studies have only provided tentative evidence.
How to Prevent or Overcome Premature Ejaculation
It’s quite possible to get rid of premature ejaculation without using drugs or seeking help from a medical expert. There are many remedies for this health problem, which have been tried and found to be effective. So, if you’re looking for ways to stop premature ejaculation, the following natural methods can help you achieve your goal.
- Practical Techniques to Delay Ejaculation
It’s possible to train your ejaculatory reflexes to delay an orgasm by using a few practical techniques. You can practice the following methods during masturbation or sex to learn the art of delaying ejaculations.
- Kegel Exercise / PC Muscle Training
Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Women usually do these exercises when treating pelvic floor weakness due to childbirth or as a remedy for urinary incontinence. However, Kegels can also teach men a handy technique that delays ejaculation.
The basic premise of Kegel exercises involves flexing the Pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, which helps to control ejaculation. To identify the PC muscle, pretend that you’re urinating then stop the flow of urine with a muscle contraction.
That same muscle you used to control urine flow is your PC muscle. Your abdominal muscles and thighs should be fully relaxed when you engage this muscle.
The good thing about Kegel exercises is that they are simple to perform and can be done anywhere without people knowing. To perform Kegel exercises:
- Flex the PC muscle for about 5 seconds then take the same amount of time to relax before repeating the same reflex.
- Kegels are most effective when done on a regular basis. Therefore, repeat this routine at least 3 times every day with 10 to 15 muscle contractions per session.
- Every 3 to 5 days, flex the PC muscle 1 second longer and work your way up slowly until you are able to squeeze it for 10 seconds.
- With time, the PC muscle will become strong and all you have to do is squeeze it to hold off ejaculation.
- Practice Stop-Start Technique and Try Different Sex Positions
The start-and-stop method can be done as a solo exercise or with a sex partner. It requires a man to stop intercourse or penis stimulation abruptly when coming close to an orgasm. This is followed by a 30-second rest before sexual activity can continue.
Changing positions before starting intercourse again can also help to prevent early ejaculation even further. Active positions like missionary and rear-entry cause the most friction and stimulation on genital organs.
Changing from these positions to less stimulating ones such as spooning and the propeller can prolong sexual activity.
Trying different positions in conjunction with the start-and-stop method can be repeated as many times as possible until you are ready to ejaculate. With practice and experience, this technique will help you gain control over your arousal and ejaculatory reflexes.
- The Penis Tip Squeeze Method
The idea of this technique is to decrease an erection by squeezing the penis when a man is just on the brink of reaching an orgasm. You can practice this technique alone or with the help of your sex partner.
The penis squeeze method can be used along with the stop and start technique. Here are the instructions on how to perform it:
- When an ejaculation is just moments away, immediately stop all other stimulation and have you or your partner squeeze the region just below the head of the penis where the glands meet the shaft.
- Maintain the squeeze for a few seconds then release and pause for about half a minute before resuming intercourse.
- Keep repeating this process until you’re ready to ejaculate.
- Testes Tug
You can prevent premature ejaculation by simply pulling or tugging the testicles. Usually, a man’s scrotum rises slightly just before an orgasm. However, pulling the testes down and away from your body delays an ejaculation.
Much like the squeeze method, you can practice the testes tug on your own or with your sex partner.
- Perineum Pressure
The Perineum is located midway between the anus and scrotum. This spot provides easy access to the prostate gland. As a result, pressing on the Perineum helps to stop the flow of ejaculate fluid.
- Before applying pressure on the Perineum, wait until when you are just about to ejaculate.
- Pause stimulation for about 30 seconds before resuming sexual activity.
- Repeat the pattern until you are ready to ejaculate.
- Bedroom Changes
A different approach to sex can sometimes be enough to stop premature ejaculation. With that in mind, here are a few behavioral changes that can help you last longer in bed.
- Masturbate 2 Hours before Sex
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to preventing premature ejaculation. Masturbating a couple of hours before sex brings down your level of sexual excitement. Although your level of desire will have decrease, you’ll still be able to get an erection and last much longer than you’re used to.
- Wear a Condom
Some men do not like using a condom because sex simply feels better without one. However, condoms can actually work to your advantage if you’re suffering from premature ejaculation.
Condoms decrease sexual pleasure and allow you to avoid being overly aroused. Consequently, most men are able to prolong the time before ejaculation when wearing a condom.
For this technique to be effective at keeping you from climaxing quickly, you need to avoid extra thin condoms. Those made with a thicker texture help to reduce stimulation than the thin ones.
Some climax-control condoms reduce arousal even further with Benzocaine, a slightly numbing gel. Since the numbing gel is on the inside of the condom, it helps to put off ejaculation for longer without decreasing sexual pleasure for your partner.
- Don’t Skip the Foreplay
Unlike men, women take a little longer to get fully aroused. Therefore, it’s advisable not to rush into sex if you want to last longer in bed. In fact, if you’re too sexually excited, it won’t be long before you reach a climax.
Engaging in foreplay helps to tone down arousal and puts the pressure off performance anxiety. Taking the time to pleasure your partner in other ways before starting intercourse can also help you control your own level of arousal.
What’s more, extended foreplay will provide your partner with a fulfilling sexual experience, even if ejaculation comes quickly during intercourse.
- Deep Breathing
When men lose control over their level of arousal, the intense sexual tension that builds up often triggers early ejaculation. This can be avoided by simply taking deep breaths during sex.
Slow, controlled breathing helps to keep you relaxed and delays ejaculation. Plus, if you can synchronize the breathing rhythm with your partner, this sets the stage for an even more intimate experience.
- Distract Yourself with Non-Sexual Thoughts
If you tend to get overexcited quickly during intercourse, turn your thoughts to something distant that’s unrelated to sex. This can be anything from a boring sport to your workout routine or favorite TV program.
The key is to think about something that won’t get you too stressed or cause you to completely lose your arousal. Also, allow your thoughts to drift away just long enough to get a short break from arousal, perhaps 10 to 15 seconds before refocusing attention on your partner.
- Bring Down the Tempo/Pace
Rushing through sex all too often causes early ejaculation. However, slowing things down helps to limit arousal and hold off an orgasm. Besides helping you last longer, opting for gentler and more teasing intercourse is a great way to give your partner a more fulfilling and intimate sexual experience.
- Develop Mental Control and Confidence
For many men, the anxiety of performing in bed tends to be the biggest contributing factor to premature ejaculation. This can change by having a mindset shift from what sex should be all about.
Instead of viewing intercourse as an opportunity to achieve an orgasm, think of it as an intimate time with your partner that should be enjoyed regardless of ejaculation. Looking at sex from this perspective allows you to gain confidence during sexual encounters and reduces the performance anxiety that often triggers early ejaculation.
- Work Through Relationship Issues
Relationship problems can trigger stress and kill the mood for sex. If those problems are not addressed, you might find yourself always stressed out during sexual encounters. In such situations, you’ll have little interest and desire for a long session. This can become a vicious cycle, which leads a man to always ejaculate quickly during intercourse.
Premature ejaculation caused by relationship conflicts and stress can be avoided through communication. If you’re unhappy about something, let your partner know and find ways to sort it out together.
Foods That Help to Prevent and Treat Premature Ejaculation
Hormones, the nervous system, and enzymes can influence premature ejaculation. All of these elements share a common bond that has to do with food. By adding certain foods to your diet and avoiding others, you can last longer in bed and prevent early ejaculation.
The following are various foods that can help you prevent or improve premature ejaculation.
For centuries, men in India have used Ashwagandha to boost sexual stamina. However, the therapeutic effects of Ashwagandha in treating early ejaculation are no longer a secret and you can now easily acquire this herb at your local natural foods store or order it online.
Ashwagandha has a calming effect that prevents premature ejaculation caused by anxiety and stress.
- Almonds and Walnuts
Almonds and walnuts both contain protein and essential minerals like zinc that help to boost a man’s stamina. Adding these foods to your diet is one of the best ways to stop premature ejaculation naturally with healthy snacks.
- Cereals and Oats
Cereals give your body a good supply of thiamine and niacin. Niacin is a nicotinic acid that promotes longer and stronger erections, which help you last longer in bed and experience even better orgasms.
Oats, on the other hand, are a rich source of serotonin, a chemical compound that reduces stress and anxiety that might trigger early ejaculation.
Asparagus is a famous aphrodisiac that stirs up the sex drive in both men and women. However, this super vegetable provides also several useful minerals and vitamins that help men who struggle with premature ejaculation. Key among these nutrients is vitamin E, which is known to boost hormone function in men.
- Green Celery
Green celery, much like Asparagus, is known for being a sex-stimulating food. Every stalk of this vegetable is packed with adrostenol and androstenone, two pheromones that help to treat premature ejaculation.
Eggs are replete with vitamin D. This nutrient keeps testosterone at optimum levels, thus preventing premature ejaculation caused by hormonal abnormalities.
Carrots contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Nutrients in carrots play the important role of strengthening penile muscles and improving blood circulation to the groin area.
For years, men have been eating oysters to improve performance in bed. And while some thought that this might believe this to be just be another urban legend, raw oysters do help to boost stamina. Oysters contain zinc, which is one of the important minerals that promote optimum functioning of the male reproductive system.
- Beans and Mushrooms
Beans and mushrooms are great sources of protein for vegetarians. Much like oysters, these foods are rich in zinc, which is a mineral that plays an important role in supporting male sexual functions. As a result, eating beans and mushrooms will help men to increase their stamina and last longer in bed.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is best known for its arousing properties, especially when consumed before intercourse. For men battling premature ejaculation, chocolate can prevent this condition by inducing a calming effect.
Dark chocolate contains Anandamide, a substance that controls the nervous system and prevent uneven bursts of desire that lead to early ejaculation. It’s also rich in L-Arginine HCL, which is an important amino acid that regulates hormone production in the body.
Bananas contain bromelain, an enzyme that has been linked to an increase in libido. Besides increasing the desire for sex, bananas will also boost your stamina and endurance since they also contain a range of B vitamins and potassium.
- Avoid Stimulants
Caffeine and other stimulants might raise your arousal level when consumed just before sex. While this might be a good thing for men who suffer from low sexual desire, an increased level of arousal will work against you if you struggle with premature ejaculation.
Since stimulants get you too excited, avoid them to prolong your performance during sex.
Treatments and Drugs for Premature Ejaculation
If dietary changes and other methods suggested above do not help to prevent premature ejaculation, then it’s important to seek medical assistance. You can make an appointment with a psychiatrist, sex therapist, or urologist to discuss about your ejaculatory problems.
Depending on the chosen specialist, consultations with a medical expert will help to uncover the root cause of premature ejaculation. Your doctor will therefore be able to recommend the best possible treatment after making a proper diagnosis.
Premature ejaculation can be medically treated in a variety of ways. The suitable treatment will be based on your overall health, age, and sexual history. Here is an overview of the most common medical treatments prescribed for early ejaculation:
- Topical Anesthetic Creams/Sprays
Topical anesthetic creams and sprays work by numbing the nerve endings on sensitive areas of the penis, thereby delaying ejaculation. These topical medications are typically applied minutes before sexual activity.
Although active ingredients vary, most premature ejaculation anesthetic creams contain numbing agents such as prilocaine and lidocaine. A recently FDA-approved topical application called Promescent may be obtained over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription.
Despite being effective at delaying ejaculation, anesthetic creams induce temporary loss of sensitivity and this tends to dull sexual pleasure. These medications are generally well tolerated, but some men may show signs of an allergic reaction.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Also called anti-depressants, SSRIs cause delayed ejaculation as a side effect. These drugs basically inhibit arousal slightly, thus allowing a man to have control over ejaculation. As a result, antidepressants are increasingly being used to treat premature ejaculation.
Sertraline, Prozac, Fluoxetine Zoloft, Paxil and Paroxetine are a few common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that treat this condition, while Dapoxetine is one of the fast acting antidepressants approved in the UK for treating premature ejaculation.
Some men experience lengthened sexual performance immediately after starting to use these drugs. However, doses can go up to two weeks before the drugs can have a full effect.
It’s important to note that SSRIs cause mild side effects such as increased sweating, fatigue, diarrhea, and the feeling of being sick.
- Intracavernosal Pharmacotherapy Injections and Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors
Although commonly administered as treatment for erectile dysfunction, Intracavernosal Pharmacotherapy Injections and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors can sometimes be used to treat premature ejaculation.
The latter medications are usually oral drugs such as Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (Adcirca), and Vardenafil (Staxyn, Levitra). The working mechanism of these drugs along with the injections is to induce an erection that lasts longer, typically an hour or more. So, even if a man ejaculates early, he’s still able to continue sexual activity.
Like all medications, Intracavernosal Pharmacotherapy Injections come with risks. They can cause side effects such as Peyronies, pain, bruising, priapism, and fibrosis.
- Talk Therapy
This approach works best when premature ejaculation is caused by stress and other relationship problems. Talking to a therapist can help a couple to work through emotional conflicts, find better ways to cope with stress, and reduce anxiety when it comes to sexual performance.
Counseling is most effective when used alongside drug therapy and other treatment methods for stopping premature ejaculation.