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Your Top 10 Questions About Premature Ejaculation Answered

Overview: Don’t have control over when you reach sexual climax? You’re not alone. As many as one in three men say that they suffer from premature ejaculation (PE). If you are one of those men or the partner of one, you probably have questions about premature ejaculation. Read on for answers to the questions we hear most often.

1. What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

There are a number of conditions that can cause PE, both physical and psychological. Psychological causes can include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety and performance anxiety related to sexual relations
  • Poor body image or poor self-esteem
  • Relationship problems with your current partner
  • History of sexual abuse, either as perpetrator or victim and survivor
  • Negative feelings about the idea of sex and sexual repression

Physical causes for premature ejaculation can include:

  • Use of illegal drugs such as methamphetamines or cocaine
  • Low levels of B12 in the body
  • Abnormal levels of hormones in the body
  • Irregular levels of neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain that pass impulses to the rest of your body
  • Endocrine disorders such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction.
  • Inflammation of the prostate or urethra
  • Genetic traits inherited from your family

2. Are There Different Types of Premature Ejaculation?

There are two major types of PE:

  • Primary, or lifelong premature ejaculation, which begins when a man first starts having sexual feelings and continues throughout the lifespan
  • Secondary, or acquired premature ejaculation, which develops later in life due to psychological or medical issues

There are two other types that have been recently recognized: variable, which happens only some of the time, such as with a new partner, and selective, where a man has normal ejaculation times but feels he ejaculates sooner than he would like. However, most experts consider these forms to be variations of normal male sexuality, so research focuses mainly on the lifelong and acquired types.

Person crossing their hands over their pant front.

3. What Length of Time is Considered Premature Ejaculation?

The International Society for Sexual Medicine uses the inability to delay ejaculation as a working definition for PE. This can mean ejaculation that occurs within one minute of vaginal penetration and causes “distress, bother, frustration and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.”

4. How Long ‘Should’ a Man Last in Bed?

While media and pornography may have given you an unrealistic view of how long men should “last,” the reality is that the average amount of time between penetration to orgasm is only about 5 minutes. This means that some men who may believe they have PE are really within the normal range.

5. When Should I See A Doctor About PE?

It’s best to visit your doctor as soon as premature ejaculation becomes a pattern and starts reducing your enjoyment of sexual activity. It’s common for men to feel embarrassed about discussing PE with their doctor, but PE is a very common problem, and your doctor will have advice as well as recommendations for treatment. At eDrugstore.com, we offer free, confidential online visits with our licensed doctors.

6. Can Premature Ejaculation Cause Fertility Problems?

If you have significant PE, and have a hard time holding off ejaculation until your penis is fully inserted in the vagina of your partner, then you may experience problems fertilizing your partner’s ova. Ejaculation must occur intravaginally in order to have the best chance of conceiving a baby.

7.  What Can I Do to Create a Better Sexual Relationship with My Partner?

Experts say that communication is key. While it might be awkward at first, the whole experience will be better for you and your partner if you are open and honest about your (and his/her) desires and expectations. Knowing what your partner wants and needs can help reduce your anxiety and plan foreplay that will allow you both to be satisfied.

Couple smiling at each other.

8. Is Premature Ejaculation Curable?

In many cases, PE is treatable. When PE has a physical cause, treating that cause can cure the PE. In cases of psychological PE, the condition is still treatable. For example, a variety of behavioral techniques can help with PE. These include:

  • The “squeeze technique”: You or your partner can put pressure just behind the head of the penis when you feel an ejaculation approaching. This pressure should be applied until the sensation passes.
  • The “stop and start” technique: You or your partner stimulate the penis until you feel like you’re starting to have an orgasm. Then stop the stimulation for 30 seconds and begin again. Repeat until you’re ready to orgasm.
  • Kegels and pelvic floor exercises: Tighten the same muscles that you would tighten to stop a stream of urine. Repeat 10 times at least three times a day.
  • Masturbation one to two hours before having a sexual encounter.
  • Using a thick condom to help decrease sensation.
  • Deep breathing when the approach of ejaculation is sensed.
  • Taking breaks during sex and distracting yourself by thinking of something totally different.
  • Counseling and therapy to help you work through issues with depression, anxiety, or stress.

9. Can Medication Treat Premature Ejaculation? 

In many cases, yes. Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) effectively treat PE, though none has been FDA approved for this purpose. The anti-depressants Paxil (paroxetine), Celexa (citalopram), and Prozac (fluoxetine) are three SSRIs that help some men, though they can take several weeks to work. Recent research suggests that a combination of an SSRI with an ED med is an even more effective treatment for PE.

In addition, anesthetic creams, sprays, gels such as Stimula, and wipes with desensitizers like lidocaine or benzocaine can help some men by making the penis less sensitive. Some doctors recommend applying these products to the penis before sex and then wearing a condom.

Smiling couple.

10. Can Erectile Dysfunction Medications Help Treat PE?

Yes. Even though no erectile dysfunction medications have been FDA-approved to treat PE, they are frequently prescribed off-label and work well for many men. Known as PDE5 inhibitors, ED medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, can improve PE, as they increase blood flow to the penis, helping it to remain erect. As above, these medications are even more effective when taken in combination with an SSRI. As men lose anxiety about maintaining an erection, this treatment can also increase confidence, reducing the chances of PE.

To Learn More

If you have questions about PE that are not covered here, visit our ultimate guide on premature ejaculation here.

How eDrugstore Can Help

At eDrugstore.com, we want all men to be able to function at peak levels of sexual health and enjoyment. This is why we offer a complete line of sensual lubricants, male enhancement products, and products to help you treat your premature ejaculation. If you are ready to work on your sexual enjoyment and treat your premature ejaculation, call us today at 1-800-467-5146 or chat with us seven days a week at eDrugstore.com. We have licensed doctors and pharmacists waiting to talk with you and develop a plan for you today!

Elizabeth Nichols is an experienced and flexible author with extensive experience in both popular media and academic publishing. She specializes in health, medical and travel writing.