What is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation happens when a man orgasms and ejaculates sooner than they or their partner would like. Premature ejaculation can happen before or shortly after penetration.
There is no set time for how long a person should “last” during sex, but the NHS defines premature as under two minutes of penetrative sex. If you ejaculate in under two minutes regularly and you and your partner are happy with that, that is absolutely fine, and treatment options for premature ejaculation are intended for people that feel stress, embarrassment, or pressure from a partner to last longer.
The primary issue with premature ejaculation is that typically men will not be able to maintain an erection after they ejaculate, meaning penetrative sex ends before they or their partner wanted it to. Premature ejaculation can be frustrating and embarrassing. For some people, embarrassment about premature ejaculation can cause problems with intimacy and damage their relationships.
Premature ejaculation is a common problem, and 40% of men will have this problem at some time in their lives, so it is nothing to feel embarrassed about. The most important thing is that you are seeking help and advice as how to correct it.
Can Premature Ejaculation Be Caused by ED?
Premature ejaculation (PE) can often be a problem for men who have erectile dysfunction. Since an erection goes away after ejaculation, it can be difficult to know if the problem is PE or ED.
In a large study involving almost 5000 heterosexual men aged 18–65 years, ED was present in more than 30% of men with premature ejaculation. A separate meta-analysis including data from 18 studies on overall 57,229 patients, of which 21.2% reported PE, which has shown that men with PE have three times a higher probability of reporting ED than men without PE.
Erectile dysfunction affects over 66% of men at some point in their lives and becomes more likely with age. If you are experiencing both the symptoms of ED and PE, it’s important that you speak to your doctor about the ED first, as it is typically more serious. For 90% of men over 40, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, most commonly cardiovascular disease or diabetes, which can be life-threatening if ignored.
How can ED-Induced Premature Ejaculation Be Treated?
Premature ejaculation will often disappear or be significantly reduced once the symptoms of ED are treated, so seeking help for the ED should always be your first step. Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, medication, or treatments like shockwave therapy.
One simple action you can take at home to combat both the symptoms of ED and PE is pelvic floor exercises. These train the muscles that keep blood in the penis, making maintaining an erection and delaying ejaculation much easier. Pelvic floor exercises are simple, and the easiest ones can be performed sitting at a desk.
Here’s one you can try right now:
- Sit on a chair with your back straight, and away from the back of the chair.
- Tense your muscles around the lower base of your penis, as if you were trying to stop urinating.
- Hold for five seconds.
- Repeat for five sets of ten, twice a day.
PDE-5 inhibitors such as sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis), which are the most common treatment for ED can also be used to treat premature ejaculation and may even be recommended even if you are not experiencing the symptoms of ED.
A new drug called Dapoxetine is currently available with prescription from the NHS to treat PE-induced-ED in the same way, although it does not have the same mechanism of action that a PDE-5 inhibitor would. Dapoxetine is a serotonin transporter inhibitor and improves both ejaculation latency and erection quality.
If you’d like to speak to one of our erection experts about what treatment options would be best for your specific situation, and whether you may be eligible for shockwave therapy, you can find your nearest clinic below.
Disclaimer: This article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication.