If you've ever berated yourself for climaxing too quickly during sex, you're not alone. Find out how you and your partner can solve this issue together.
The Gist of It
- Premature ejaculation is very common and is defined by ejaculating very quickly upon penetration.
- It could be caused by nervousness, inexperience, excessive self-masturbation, hormonal imbalance, low levels of serotonin in the brain.
- Treatment options include anxiety management, psychology sessions, behavioural techniques, and topical anaesthetics.
“Why do I ejaculate so fast?”
“Why can’t I last longer?”
“I don’t feel like doing it, it just bums me out”
Guys, have you ever asked yourself any of the questions above?
More importantly, have you ever discussed it with anyone? You’d be surprised (since no one ever talks about it), but quite a few men go through the same problems as you too.
A recent study found that 1 in 3 men experience premature ejaculation (PE), and most are not seeking help.
The thing is, PE can be cured and there’s no reason sitting about festering in the dilemma when you can find a solution for it. The same study found that 56% of men are too embarrassed to talk about it with their special ladies (or men), and end up suffering alone. And as a result, their relationships suffer too.
As a defined medical condition recognised by several major medical organisations, PE can be recognised due to:
- a short time from penetration to ejaculation (or, in more severe cases, ejaculation before penetration)
- the male feeling unable to control ejaculation
- unhappiness or difficulties in a relationship caused by PE.
Premature Ejaculation is not Erectile Dysfunction
- PE is completely distinct from erectile dysfunction (ED), which is the inability to maintain penile erection for sexual activity.
- PE is far more common than ED, affecting men across a wide age group – from 18 to 65 years (yes, you!)
- Race does not play a role in whether you have a higher risk of having PE.
- It affects 20-30% of men at some point in their lives and it is unlike ED – where prevalence increases with age, especially if you’re in the 40s.
What Causes PE?
While it may take a while you or your partner to recognise PE, it takes even longer to understand why it occurs in the first place – since PE is usually caused by mental and physiological factors.
It could be something simple, like:
- Inexperience in sex or nervousness during sex
This may end up causing men to ejaculate prematurely because they are not mentally prepared
- Anxiety and nervousness can also cause PE
On the other hand, it could be caused by many other factors:
This may cause a man to experience climax sooner than desired. Men, as teenagers, indulge in masturbation – which consequently results in a rushed orgasm and hence, later in life, premature ejaculation.
- Hormonal imbalance
- Low levels of serotonin (a brain messenger chemical) in the brain
Ultimately, premature ejaculation affects a man negatively – causing feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem and lowered self-confidence. It may also lead to depression.
Discuss PE with Your Sweetheart – It Helps
PE does not just affect you. It affects your partner too. This is why you should discuss the issue openly and work together towards a solution.
In my own practice, I have had a case where the wife of a PE sufferer told me that she was seeking a divorce because she was frustrated with the situation. It is often discouraging and disappointing for partners when the vital intimacy found in sex cannot be achieved.
If untreated, PE can remain a serious issue and men should not underestimate or think that PE will go away – in some cases PE can last a lifetime!
There are Treatment Options!
PE is completely treatable. There are many different treatment options to treat PE. But before we can cross over the threshold of treating PE, we need to break through the barriers in communication, especially when trying to approach this delicate issue.
1. Try Anxiety Management
PE is associated with infrequent sex. So it is common for men with lesser sexual activity to often get extra excited and aroused. When it comes to the real thing sometimes men hit performance anxiety.
Reducing anxiety is different for everyone. Meditation, hypnosis or imagery exercises may help for some.
Just like an athlete works with the sports psychologist to envision their performance, you can do the same sexual imagery for the bedroom. How many of you imagine positive sexual scenarios? Do you envision your interactions? What behaviours you would engage in? Imagery can be like a positive mental plan, something you can fall back on that can help you manage your anxiety beforehand – and in the moment.
2. See a psychologist
By talking to a psychologist, you can work together to pinpoint specific psychological issue that may be hampering your sexual performance. Try bringing your partner along. It helps! Both of you can face this issue together and work out the solution as a team. And it’ll definitely be beneficial for your relationship.
3. Use Behavioural Techniques
Other methods to help treat premature ejaculation are behavioural techniques such as the stop-start technique, squeeze technique and stop-pause technique. For these to be effective, it’s important for you to work with your partner as it requires time and patience, as well as a commitment.
A good example is the Squeeze technique. This is usually what you are advised to do. When the man is close to climaxing, the partner helps grip the penis firmly. Press her thumb on the tip to prevent ejaculation. Allow the moment to pass before resuming.
4. Creams and Sprays
There are also topical anaesthetics in the form of creams and sprays that are available for men to use. The cream works by numbing and reducing the sensitivity of the penis. This should be applied a few minutes before sexual activity. It can also be applied inside a condom before penetration.
Talk to a Doctor
It is crucial for you to also seek advice with your doctor to assess if this is the best treatment for you, and to determine which cream to use. It is definitely becoming more and more evident that premature ejaculation is an unmet medical need. There is a need for an on-demand oral drug to treat the condition. And we are looking forward to such a drug being available for Malaysian men in the near future.
So don’t hesitate, reclaim your love life and don’t suffer in silence. Take the time to go with your significant other to see a doctor. It is not only a show of support and love, but it also helps the doctor to diagnose the condition accurately when there are personal accounts from both parties.
Edited by: The HealthWorks Team
Contributed by Dr. Zulkifli Md Zainuddin, Consultant Urologist