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Premature Ejaculation


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Premature ejaculation
Sexual health
Ejaculation is the name given to the release of semen from the penis when the man reaches a sexual climax or orgasm. Most men ejaculate or come within two minutes of penetration, but there are some men who can last longer than this, just as there are men who regularly ejaculate sooner. In some, the man ejaculates before any direct stimulation of the penis occurs. Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates quicker than he or his partner wishes, and this may lead to tension in their sexual relationship.

Premature ejaculation can occur at any age but it is more common in younger men. It is estimated that about 40% of men experience premature ejaculation.
The most common causes of premature ejaculation are psychological. Disease or physical conditions affecting the penis are very rarely the cause. Anxiety, stress, guilt and worries about being a good lover can all lead to premature ejaculation. For example, if a man has come too quickly the very first time he has sex, concern about it happening again can dominate his mind the next time, making him anxious so it does indeed happen again, creating a circle of worry and recurring premature ejaculation. With experience most men learn how to prolong the time that they take to ejaculate.

In older men, premature ejaculation may be a sign of prostate, circulatory or neurological problems.
Symptoms range from a reduced or even absent feeling of having come, to an inability to sustain an erection, and even loss of sexual desire. This is usually because the man becomes so preoccupied trying to control his ejaculation that it stops him being absorbed in the pleasures of lovemaking.
Sprays containing the local anaesthetic lidocaine are available which when sprayed onto the penis, reduce its sensitivity and may help delay ejaculation.

Low doses of some antidepressants may also be used to prolong the time before ejaculation.

These approaches help many men, but some will need further specialist help by a referral to a sex therapist.
When to see your pharmacist
If you or your partner is affected by premature ejaculation, do not be embarrassed to talk to your pharmacist. It is a common problem and your pharmacist will be able to reassure you and provide advice. If you want to try one of the local anaesthetic sprays, these are available from your local pharmacy without the need for a prescription.
When to see your doctor
If you cannot sort out the problem with your partner then you should consult your doctor. Your doctor may decide to examine you to reassure you that there are no physical problems or may talk to you to find out any psychological reasons. Your doctor may want to refer you to a therapist or counsellor for specialist advice.
Living with premature ejaculation
First, stop worrying about it. This will help you relax and enjoy love making much more. You should also discuss the problem with your partner. Even though you may feel that you ejaculate too quickly your partner may be perfectly satisfied with your ‘performance’. This will help ease a lot of your worries.

Some men also find that if they increase the frequency of ejaculations, perhaps by masturbation (making themselves come), then they will come less quickly. If this does not help, then the following simple technique is very effective.

Either you or your partner should stimulate your penis until just before you come. You should then rest without stimulation for 30 to 60 seconds, then restart stimulating, and stopping short of ejaculation. You should repeat this cycle of stimulation, rest and further stimulation, five or six times before allowing yourself to ejaculate. Squeezing, just below the head of the penis between stimulations will also help delay ejaculation. This technique should be used every time you masturbate on your own or have sex with your partner. Slowly, you will find that you are able to delay ejaculation for a much longer time.

Do not be embarrassed to seek medical help or to ask to be referred to a sex therapist.
Useful Tips
  • Give up smoking - see Give Up Smoking section
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Make sure you discuss the problem with your partner
  • Try to think about something unconnected with sex when you feel climax is near
Further information
The Sexual Advice Association is a charitable organisation to help improve the sexual health and wellbeing of men and women and to raise awareness of the extent to which sexual conditions affect the general population.

The Sexual Advice Association
Suite 301, Emblem House
London Bridge Hospital
27 Tooley Street

Helpline: 020 7486 7262

Reviewed on 23 May 2011