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ED and Premature Ejaculation: How They’re Related

Many men suffer from both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. A growing number of medical professionals suggest that treating your ED symptoms first might help to eliminate your symptoms of PE.

The two most common forms of male sexual dysfunction are premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Of the two, premature ejaculation is the most common, although it probably gets less attention than ED. That may well be because ED is more readily treated these days than PE.

Data on the incidence of PE among men with ED varies widely. According to one recent study, roughly 7 percent of men with ED also suffer from PE. Other studies have put the figure considerably higher — up to 30 percent.

Two Forms of PE

PE takes two different forms — lifelong and acquired. Men suffering from the former usually experience its symptoms early in their sex life, while the onset of the latter’s symptoms occur later and very often in combination with ED.

The International Society for Sexual Medicine’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Definition of Premature Ejaculation in 2013 agreed on a somewhat cumbersome definition that attempts to encompass both forms of PE. According to the committee’s unified definition, PE is a sexual dysfunction characterized by “ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration from the first sexual experiences (lifelong PE), or, a clinically significant and bothersome reduction in latency time, often to about 3 minutes or less (acquired PE).”

Which Came First: PE or ED?

According to the Urology Care Foundation, the diagnosis of PE is not uncommon among men with ED, and vice-versa. Particularly in cases of ED where the patient is unable to sustain an erection long enough to complete intercourse, it can be challenging to pinpoint the most direct cause of the problem. “Since an erection goes away after ejaculation, it can be difficult to know if the problem is PE or ED.”

Among the more common causes of PE, according to the foundation, are low brain levels of serotonin, psychological issues, and age-related physiological changes.

While the primary cause of ED is an insufficient flow of blood to the penis, PE more often occurs because of psychological issues, some of which may arise as a secondary response to ED symptoms.

It’s Best to Treat ED First

For patients experiencing symptoms of both ED and PE, the Urology Care Foundation suggests that ED be treated first. “Premature ejaculation may not be a problem once the ED is treated.”

If treating ED symptoms fails to resolve PE symptoms, common treatment options include counseling, behavioral techniques, topical anesthetics, and other medications, according to MayoClinic.org.

For men suffering from both ED and PE, pelvic floor exercises can strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and provide greater control over ejaculatory function while also improving erectile function. Also known as Kegels, these exercises can be performed in almost any setting.

How to Perform the Exercises

To perform these exercises, you must first identify the muscles involved. This can be done by tightening the muscles that stop urination in midstream. These are your pelvic floor muscles. Once you’ve identified them, you can exercise them on a regular basis by contracting them for three seconds and then relaxing them for three seconds. Do three sets of 10 repetitions daily until you regain greater control over your pelvic floor musculature.

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