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Premature ejaculation


WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

If a man ejaculates, or comes, sooner than he’d like while having sex, this is called premature ejaculation.

How long sex should last to be satisfying for a couple differs between individuals. Most often ejaculation occurs within 2 minutes of penetration.

Ejaculating before entering the partner or within a minute of penetration is usually seen as a medical condition needing treatment if it happens regularly and is of concern to a man or his partner.

Premature or rapid ejaculation is a common problem which affects more than 40% of men at some stage, according to the Sexual Advice Association.

Around 3% of men visit their GP about premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation can affect men of any age, but may be more common in the 20s and teenage years.

Causes of premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be due to over excitement or increased sensitivity triggering an orgasm sooner than a man would like.

Some men may have a more sensitive penis than others.

Anxiety may be to blame for premature ejaculation for some men, who may speed-up intercourse because of worries they will lose their erection before orgasm.

Being nervous about having sex with a new partner or the surroundings or concern about being discovered having sex may contribute to premature ejaculation.

Other causes include stress, depression, problems with relationships and previous sexual problems or experiences.

Some medical conditions may affect ejaculation for older men, including diabetes, prostate gland problems, narrowing of the arteries and some neurological conditions.

Help for premature ejaculation

Help for premature ejaculation can be via a GP, who can check for possible physical causes and suggest techniques to slow ejaculation. If there is no underlying medical cause, psychological causes may be investigated.

Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be recommended to help with premature ejaculation.

A referral to a sexual health specialist or sex therapist may be recommended. This may be available through the NHS in some areas or privately in others.

Advice on managing premature ejaculation and finding a therapist is available from the Sexual Advice Association, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), local sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics and the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT).

Self-help techniques for premature ejaculation

Different techniques work for different men. Some find that thinking about something else, the more boring the better, can temporarily put off the moment ejaculation.

Having sex a second time usually means it takes longer to reach an orgasm than the first time. However, this may not be an option for men who find it difficult to get a second erection.

The Sexual Advice Association suggests a range of self-help techniques, including a stopping and starting method and a squeeze technique to stop ejaculation at the point of orgasm.

Special creams and delay sprays are sold to help numb sensation in the penis to delay ejaculation. The Sexual Advice Association says there is no evidence these products are effective, and with unprotected sex, the numbing effect can also affect the partner.

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Reviewed on February 25, 2015

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