Premature Ejaculation (PE) Treatment
What is premature ejaculation (PE)?
Many men worry that they cannot control when they come (release semen) during sex, or that they come too quickly once sex has started. Medical professionals often refer to this as premature ejaculation.
How soon is too soon?
It is very common for men to worry about premature ejaculation, and to want to know how to last longer in bed. However, the estimates for what ‘too quickly’ actually means can vary widely. Some men consider coming during foreplay or in the beginning stages of penetration as too soon. Other men think that coming after many minutes of penetration is also too quick. Some men experiencing ejaculation problems may come before there has been any stimulation to the penis at all.
In fact, for men having penetrative sex, the average time from starting penetration to ejaculation is 2-7 minutes.
We get lots of messages about what is a ‘normal’ length of time to have sex from a variety of sources throughout our lives. Commonly this includes our peers, social media or porn. We know that many of the ideas we are exposed to are greatly distorted, and do not reflect the way in which the vast majority of people have sex. In particular, porn is often heavily edited to give the appearance of sex lasting longer than it does in reality. Male porn stars often have to take breaks between shots, and ejaculate several times over the course of making one film.
Crucially, there is no ‘correct’ ejaculation time or length of time for sex. It is up to you and your partner to decide what you are comfortable with based on your enjoyment, and not on how long the sex lasts.
It is important to remember that sex does not have to be over once you ejaculate. It is possible to continue to feel sexual pleasure in your genitals and other parts of your body even after you come. If you are having sex with a partner, you can talk to them about whether they would like you to continue giving them pleasure even after you have ejaculated. Many men find that if (following a period of stimulation and continued arousal) they attempt sex again after coming that it takes longer to ejaculate for a second time.
How common is premature ejaculation (PE)?
Most men say that there have been times when they have come more quickly than they wanted to. Ejaculation problems can affect men of any age and at different points in their lives.
In fact, at certain times, coming quickly is considered normal for most men. This includes:
- Highly stimulating sexual situations
- Sexual situations which are new and exciting
- When it has been a long time since last having sex or masturbating
- In young men (for men aged 18-25 the average time between penetration and ejaculation is less than 3 minutes.)
- When we feel tired, stressed or anxious.
What causes premature ejaculation?
The causes of premature ejaculation are often a combination of physical and psychological factors. Physical causes are unusual, but recreational drugs, and medical conditions such as prostatitis or thyroid problems can cause PE. Speaking to a medical professional can help to rule these things out. Some men have more sensitivity in the head of their penis than others, meaning it takes less stimulation to bring them to orgasm.
PE can also be linked, or made worse by what’s going on in our minds. Any type of stress or anxiety can lead to early ejaculation, and this can include:
- Worry about ‘performing’ in sex, particularly with new partners (often called Performance Anxiety)
- When one or both of you are inexperienced in sex or there is pressure to ‘get sex right’.
- Feeling guilty or shameful around sex (especially if we have been taught growing up that sex is sinful or wrong in some way) · Feeling rushed in sex
- Having sex in secret and having to finish quickly
- · Underlying relationship difficulties
- Differences between you and your partner’s expectations around sex, including your sex drives and beliefs about how long sex should last.
Treatment for premature ejaculation (PE)
Many men who have experienced PE in their lives will ask us how to last longer during sex or how to delay ejaculation. Some tell us that they have been searching online for pills, tablets, home remedies or creams to find something that will help.
Although there is no single cure for premature ejaculation, premature ejaculation treatment can involve both medical and psychological approaches, and many men find that a combination of both can be very effective.
There are things you can do to improve or address your concerns about coming too soon. Having a physical examination including blood tests is essential and is recognised as best practice.
You can see your GP to raise any concerns you have about sex, but we realise that this can be a daunting prospect for some people. The knowledge and experience it requires to assess sexual problems can be complex, so it can be beneficial to see a doctor who has specialist training in sexual medicine such as the doctors in our team. A doctor can also prescribe medications or other medical treatments specifically designed to help you delay when you come.
It is also worth considering some of the psychological factors that might be contributing to your difficulties. Speaking with a specialist Psychologist or Psychosexual Therapist can help you to understand the causes of PE in more detail, and provide information about highly effective strategies or exercises to delay ejaculation. Although psychosexual therapy will help you to explore how to stop premature ejaculation from happening, it will also focus on ways of maximising your pleasure in sex, reducing anxiety and connecting to enjoyable sexual experiencing regardless of the length of time it takes you to reach orgasm.
If you prefer to see someone one on one from the outset, sex therapy can be really effective. In an initial consultation with one of our psychologists we will discuss with you all of the ways in which we can help. An initial consultation is a way for you to learn more about the process and receive tailored advice before committing to therapy.
If you are interested in talking more with one of our team about the difficulties you are facing with PE and how we can help you can book an initial consultation with anyone in the team. Alternatively if you'd like to talk to us first, feel free to phone or e mail us.