Premature ejaculation is a condition in men in which ejaculation/orgasm is reached sooner than wanted by either the man himself and/or his partner. Though there is no set time for ejaculation, if it happens within the first minute of intercourse or during the foreplay, it is referred to as premature ejaculation. In other words, there is a lack of control in the man over ejaculation during sexual intercourse. This is a common problem among men because almost every fifth man experiences it at some point in their lifetime. It is responsible for sexual displeasure and also becomes a cause for distress in men facing this problem. So it is important to first understand the science of premature ejaculation.
Factors for Premature Ejaculation
The exact cause for this condition is not clear but brain chemistry does play a vital role in it. Low serotonin levels in the brain result in a shorter ejaculation time. Several biological and psychological factors contribute to the condition of premature ejaculation by altering our brain chemistry. Some psychological factors are- depression, early sexual experiences, negative body image worrying about ejaculating too early, anxiety related to sexual performance, or feeling guilty about doing sex and thus rushing through it.
Erectile dysfunction (not being able to get or maintain an erection during sex) is also a contributing factor. It may be possible that relationship problems are causing premature ejaculation, especially if you have had satisfying sexual experiences in earlier relationships.
Some biological factors include abnormal levels of neurotransmitters and other hormones, and heredity. Rarely, physical problems like, infection or inflammation of prostate/ urethra and spinal cord-related issues may also lead to premature ejaculation.
Symptoms of Premature Ejaculation
Some key symptoms of premature ejaculation are-
- The routine occurrence of ejaculation without sexual stimulation or little control.
- Decreased sexual pleasure and satisfaction because of little control over ejaculation.
- Feeling guilty, embarrassed, and depressed about one’s sexual performance.
If you find any or all of these symptoms occurring regularly, discuss it with your doctor. There is no need to be shy about sharing your sexual history because the more you tell the doctor, the better equipped they would be to help you with it.
Many times, the problem goes away in a few weeks or months. Relieving stress and identifying other psychological issues prove to be of great help. However, in case the condition persists for a longer period, professional help is absolutely necessary. Your doctor will conduct neurological tests and examine your prostate glands to find out the underlying problem. Based on their diagnosis, they will prescribe you treatment(s).
Treatments for Premature Ejaculation
Zinc and magnesium play an important role in maintaining our sexual health and thus may help to cure premature ejaculation. Foods like pumpkin seeds, oysters, cereals, beef, yogurt, dark chocolate, and garlic contain high levels of both minerals.
Behavioral therapy is an effective solution. The “squeeze technique” is commonly used where the head of the penis is squeezed as soon as the man feels like he is reaching orgasm. This makes him lose the erection. Repeating this a few times before finally ejaculating is known to help with premature ejaculation. Additionally, some men have reported that thinking of other things during sex helps them last longer. If these don’t work, you may try Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. This is done by stopping urine mid-way, holding for about 3 seconds, and then releasing for 3 seconds. Repeat this at least thrice a day, 10 times per session. Wearing a condom may also help because it desensitizes the penis for a while.
Masturbating an hour before you engage in sex may help delay the ejaculation by taking away the need for reaching climax quickly.
If it’s the emotional causes or relationship problems that are leading to the condition then your doctor may ask you to get in touch with a mental health professional. They talk people through their previous experiences and any worries or repressed feelings the patient may have.
In case of a physical factor, a urologist who specializes in several conditions of the urinary tract will help you. But if none of these seem to help, your doctor may prescribe you some medications which delay ejaculation. Drugs like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and tricyclic antidepressants are commonly used. Dr.William Henderson, a physician at Hisblue suggests using the SSRI drug, Dapoxetine 60 mg for treating premature ejaculation. It helps to increase the ejaculation time by almost 5 to 7 minutes.
Several topical anesthetic creams are also available in the market that make the penis less sensitive and make you last longer. Medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) including sildenafil citrate and tadalafil also help maintain an erection.
Premature ejaculation, given time, can improve on its own. And even if it doesn’t, there are several effective treatments available for curing it.