From causes, symptoms, treatments, and diagnosis to prevention, here's what to know about premature ejaculation.
A smiling man and a woman, facing each other with their foreheads touching, are happy they found a solution for his premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation is a common type of male sexual dysfunction.

1 out of 3 men will deal with uncontrolled or rapid ejaculation throughout their lives.

Unable to last longer in bed can be frustrating and disappointing for the man and his partner.

This guide provides an overview of premature ejaculation. It goes into greater detail in exploring the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and prevention.

Keep on reading to learn more.

In this article:

Note: Read the whole article or scroll down to the KEY TAKEAWAYS section at the end of this article for a short summary.

FAQs:

  • No. Premature ejaculation measures the time it takes for a man to ejaculate. In contrast, erectile dysfunction is when a man struggles to achieve and maintain an erection, even with plenty of sexual stimulation. Nevertheless, many of the techniques described below may help to treat erectile dysfunction as well.
  • Typically, a man can self-diagnose himself by lasting a short time before ejaculation and being bothered by it. Another option is to undergo a medical exam from a urologist.
  • According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, premature ejaculation occurs when the intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) is less than 1 minute.
  • Premature ejaculation occurs for many reasons. Common causes include hormonal imbalances, relationship difficulties, certain medical conditions, mental health issues, etc.
  • Yes. Some effective methods helping treat premature ejaculation include using a lidocaine delay spray and low-sensitivity sex positions.

Diagnosis

Find out what premature ejaculation diagnosis means and what are commonly associated symptoms.

What is premature ejaculation?

What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a widely frequent sexual dysfunction in which a man ejaculates after a short time (> 1 min.) of vaginal intercourse without the ability to control his ejaculation release.

Not only does PE affect sexual intercourse, but it can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy, reduced confidence, and even shame or embarrassment.

How common is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is one of the most common male sexual disorders affecting 1 out of 3 men between 18 and 59.

According to research, men may experience either natural variable premature ejaculation, described as "coincidental" or "situational" rapid ejaculation, or premature-like ejaculation dysfunction when their symptoms repeat with every sexual encounter.

Premature ejaculation can be manifest in two ways:

Lifelong premature ejaculation vs. acquired premature ejaculation

  1. Lifelong premature ejaculation: when you've experienced symptoms as long as you can remember, or
  2. Acquired premature ejaculation: when you've suddenly developed the symptoms of premature ejaculation later on in life

How long should a man last before ejaculation?

According to Canadian and American Sex Therapists, intercourse that lasts between 3 to 13 minutes is considered "average".

Typically, men diagnosed with PE have an intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) of 2 to 3 minutes.

Based on a collection of surveys, sexual encounters that last anywhere from 7 to 13 minutes are considered "desirable".

Causes

Although there is no exact cause of premature ejaculation, many factors can give rise to these symptoms.

What causes premature ejaculation?

Sex experts believe that symptoms can stem from biological factors for men struggling with life-long PE or psychological factors for men who developed their symptoms suddenly at some point in their lifespan.

Urologist Dr. Ira Sharlip mentions symptom awareness is the first step toward prevention. No one must suffer in silence, especially with, in most cases, a treatable sexual dysfunction.

Biological or Physical Factors

Men may have genetic, biochemical, or a combination of these physical problems that can cause premature ejaculation.

Common physical factors include:

  • Abnormal hormone levels (e.g. testosterone)
  • Imbalances in brain chemicals or neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin deficiency)
  • Inflammation or infection of the prostate gland
  • Medical conditions (e.g. erectile dysfunction, thyroid disorders, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, etc.)

Psychological or Emotional Factors

Psychological or emotional factors of premature ejaculation

On the other hand, symptoms of premature ejaculation can arise due to different psychological or emotional factors.

1. Relationship Problems

Tension within a relationship is known to make its way into our intimate life and either cause or worsen symptoms of PE.

The combination of emotional and mental stress that comes with relationship problems can limit your ability to relax and focus during intimacy. That can result in a need to hurry up to finish due to the fear of losing your erection altogether.

2. Performance Anxiety and Overthinking

Being nervous about your bedroom performance can provoke uncertainty and negative emotion toward sex.

Ultimately, this can create a self-perpetuating cycle of overthinking.

Sex therapist Vanessa Marin mentions that while most men will experience issues with their orgasmic timing at some point in their lives, creating a stress pattern during sex can cause it to happen repeatedly.

As a result, sexual performance anxiety [link to 'Sexual Performance Anxiety' article] can cause or worsen symptoms of PE.

Remember, nerves are expected, especially during your first sexual encounter with a partner. Regaining ejaculatory control starts by getting out of your head.

3. Symptoms of Depression

Depression is a prevalent psychological disorder seen among patients who experience premature ejaculation.

Sharing a bi-directional relationship with one another, depression is seen to impair male sexual function. In contrast, poor sexual functioning is shown to trigger feelings of depression.

Remember that most anti-depression medications can cause other sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction.

ALSO READ: What to Drink to Last Longer in Bed

Treatment

Whether you've been struggling for years or it's your first experience with premature ejaculation, numerous effective treatment and prevention methods can help you regain control of your sexual function.

How can I treat premature ejaculation early?

If you're looking to cure your symptoms of premature ejaculation, you've come to the right place.

Here are some tips to help you improve your ejaculatory control for better, longer, more enjoyable sex!

1. Desensitizing Solutions

Heightened penis sensitivity is a common cause of premature ejaculation. Fortunately, there are desensitizing solutions that can help!

An excellent desensitizing solution is known as a Delay Spray. Lidocaine-based pump sprays are an ejaculation-delaying topical agent that mildly numb the most sensitive areas of a penis.

Based on the results of a recent randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial study of Steady Freddy ejaculation-delaying spray.

Here's what the study has to say:

  • Lidocaine-based delay spray resulted in an increase of 59% in participants lasting longer than 2 minutes
  • 53% of participants reported being "very satisfied" with their sexual life and sexual relationship with their partner
  • Participants experienced an enhanced quality of sexual experience during partnered intercourse
ALSO READ: A Guide to How to Use Steady Freddy Delay Spray

2. Kegel Exercises

The pelvic floor is an essential group of muscles that help control ejaculation. This study on Therapeutic Advances in Urology found that pelvic floor exercises are significantly effective for men dealing with lifelong symptoms of PE to control their ejaculatory reflexes and increase their time to climax.

One of the best ways to strengthen the pelvic floor is through kegel exercises.

3. Sex Positions

When it comes to sexual pleasure, there's no need to let premature ejaculation stop us from feeling our best in the bedroom. Experimenting with new positions and sex techniques can reduce sensitivity and boost ejaculatory control.

Low-sensitivity sex positions

Engaging in sex can be another great way to combat symptoms of PE – so long as you're approaching it "the right way".

Some of the best positions to help lower sensitivity during sex are those that put the woman in control.

a) Cowgirl
Modified Cowgirl sex position, the man is lying flat and she straddles on top of his body with one leg on either side of his hips.
Modified Cowgirl Sex Position. Credit: Steady Freddy®

The cowgirl position is one of the best to help lower penis sensitivity during sex. Lie on your back and allow your partner to straddle on top of you. Since this puts your partner in control and limits you from performing penetrating actions, it's thought to help you delay ejaculation.

b) Seated Lap dance
Seated Lap Dance sex position
Seated Lap Dance Sex Position. Credit: Steady Freddy®

Another variation that puts the woman in control is the seated lap dance. As you sit on a chair or the edge of a bed, your partner will lower her hips onto your lap while facing away from you. Again, this position can keep you focused on her pleasure rather than your orgasmic timing.

c) Spooning
Spooning sex position, a man lay behind her, facing the same direction, his hips behind hers.
Spooning Sex Position. Credit: Steady Freddy®

The spooning position is a popular choice for couples to take things nice and slow.

Both partners will lie on their sides like you would while cuddling. Your partner will then separate her legs, allowing you to enter her from behind and begin penetrating. Focus more on grinding while also stimulating her clitoris with a free hand.

ALSO READ: Sex Positions to Help Men Last Longer (with images)

4. The Squeeze Technique

The squeeze method is to help redirect blood flow within the penis and slow the ejaculatory response.

To do this, you or your partner will squeeze the head of your penis where the glans meet the shaft for several seconds before you're about to ejaculate. When done correctly, you should experience a rapid drop in sexual arousal.

ALSO READ: How to Edge: A Technique for Lasting Longer & Improving Premature Ejaculation

5. Diet and Supplements

Diet and supplements are excellent forms of sexual medicine to treat and prevent premature ejaculation.

Here are some of the top foods to help you treat premature ejaculation naturally:
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Ginger & Honey
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pork
  • Chillies

Depending on your current diet, you may not get enough nutritional value from your daily food. Fortunately, supplementing the following vitamins and micronutrients can help!

  • Zinc and magnesium increase testosterone, boost libido and maintain an erection. Studies recommend taking 11mg of zinc and of magnesium daily.
  • L-arginine is an amino acid that helps increase blood flow to the penis. It may play a role in restoring sexual ability. The Journal of Sexual Medicine recommends 1,500-5,000mg of L-arginine daily.
  • Ashwagandha is a natural herbal supplement that can help lower stress, regulate hormone production and delay ejaculation. Research suggests taking 300-500 mg of Ashwagandha per day.
ALSO READ: Beneficial Foods to Help Cure Premature Ejaculation

6. Focus On Foreplay

Sex and relationship expert Dr. Deb Laino explains that anxiety can take center stage when men focus too much on their penis. For this reason, it's important to focus on the whole body experience through foreplay.

Many foreplay techniques introduce new positions, toys, and sensations that can elevate pleasure without orgasms.

For example, you can explore different sensations and erogenous zone stimulation using ice cubes, toys, or other body parts, act out a sexual fantasy together, or perform a strip tease – anything that can build arousal while still delaying ejaculation.

ALSO READ: Your Handy Guide to Sexual Foreplay

7. Take a Break

porn-induced premature ejaculation

Men who experience porn-induced premature ejaculation can benefit from taking a break from sexual activity for some time.

Practicing NoFap can help control porn or masturbation addiction and recover your mind and body from sexually compulsive behaviors that may be causing premature ejaculation or other sexual dysfunction.

ALSO READ: Sexual Performance Anxiety: What to Know

Preventions

Like many other sexual dysfunctions, there are ways to prevent premature ejaculation.

How to prevent premature ejaculation?

While many great methods exist to help treat and cure premature ejaculation, it's worth recognizing the importance of early prevention.

Here are some ways you can prevent premature ejaculation

Educate Yourself on Masturbation

Masturbation can be equally helpful and harmful to your sexual encounters.

Here are some helpful masturbation tips you can try:

  • Masturbate 1-2 hours before sex to help you delay ejaculation
  • Avoid watching too much porn and/or masturbating too frequently
  • Never rush yourself while masturbating. Slow yourself down and practice the start and start or pause techniques.

Let Go of Stress

As mentioned earlier, stress can be a significant cause of early ejaculation. Engaging in stress-relieving practices such as exercising, meditation, journaling, or socializing can all contribute to a healthier, happier sex life.

Address Relationship Issues Early

When in doubt, talk it out!

Psychosexual therapist Kate Moyle mentions that when couples struggle with changes in their sexual relationships, they distance themselves from the situation rather than addressing it.

Communicating with your partner about relationship problems can be instrumental in helping improve sexual intimacy and lead to normal ejaculation throughout the years.

ALSO READ: Does Size Matter: Exploring the Age-Old Question of Penis Size Impact

Medical Support to PE

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it may be worth seeking medical advice to determine your treatment and management options.

Current research has found that a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy may be a promising intervention for preventing both lifelong and acquired symptoms of PE.

Psychotherapy

Relationship and sex expert Ammanda Major reports an incredible success rate for couples or individuals who engage in psychotherapy. Using a combination of education, communication, and task accomplishment exercises, nearly 93% of those who went through couples therapy reported an improvement in their sex lives.

Behavioral therapy is an effective form of counseling that aims to control premature ejaculation symptoms by improving self-confidence, relieving symptoms of anxiety or depression, and helping men continuously master their sexual skills to delay orgasms.

Prescription Medication

In more severe cases of premature ejaculation, your family physician may recommend prescription medication to address and overcome your symptoms.

Common prescriptions medication to help delay ejaculation are Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac.

ALSO READ: What's your best sex position? Let's find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • PE is where a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse.
  • A common cause of lifelong PE is a combination of physical and psychological factors.
  • Premature ejaculation is treatable with several natural remedies such as desensitizing sprays, kegels, sex techniques, diet, prolonged foreplay, and even taking a break from intimacy altogether.
  • Early prevention of PE starts by educating yourself on healthy masturbation techniques, letting go of stress, and addressing relationship problems early.
  • A combination of sex therapy and drug therapy is proven to be especially helpful in delaying ejaculation.
ALSO READ: Does Masturbation Decrease Testosterone?
Steady Freddy delay spray for men
ALSO READ: How to Use Delay Spray

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Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to give medical advice or substitute for the medical advice of a physician.

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