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Premature Ejaculation Treatment: Can Medication Help?

Premature ejaculation is a common sexual function complaint among men. When premature ejaculation becomes frequent, men may wish to speak to a medical provider to identify the best treatment option for their situation. This may include prescription medication, counseling, pelvic floor exercises, or other lifestyle changes.

This article provides an overview of premature ejaculation and its potential treatments. Read on to learn more about effective treatments for premature ejaculation.

What is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is a common complaint among men of all ages. Premature ejaculation describes a man ejaculating sooner than expected or planned during sexual activity. Exact prevalence of premature ejaculation is unknown, but it is estimated to be problematic for at least one in three men at some point in their lives.

Occasional premature ejaculation is perfectly normal, but frequent occurrence can be cause for concern. Frequent premature ejaculation may be rooted in physical or psychological complications. Anxiety over premature ejaculation can complicate or worsen the condition.

Symptoms of potentially problematic premature ejaculation include:

  • Avoiding sexual intimacy or sexual activity for fear of early ejaculation
  • Ejaculation frequently occurring with little or no sexual stimulation
  • Feeling distressed, embarrassed, or anxious about sexual activity
  • Inability to delay ejaculation during most sexual interactions

What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

Looking up.Premature ejaculation can be rooted in both physiological and psychological causes. Men living with other forms of sexual dysfunction or anxiety surrounding sexual performance are at an increased risk of experiencing premature ejaculation. A medical provider can work with men to determine the potential cause of their condition.

Physiological causes may include:

  • Abnormalities of neurotransmitters
  • Inflammation of the prostate
  • Inherited traits
  • Unbalanced hormone levels

Psychological causes may include:

  • Attitudes surrounding sex
  • Anxiety conditions
  • Body image issues
  • Depression or mood disorders
  • Early sexual experiences
  • Other mental conditions or mental illness
  • Stress or relationship problems

Someone’s problem with premature ejaculation may begin with physiological causes but become complicated or worsened by anxiety surrounding the condition. Men living with erectile dysfunction are also more likely to suffer from premature ejaculation.

How Can I be Diagnosed with Premature Ejaculation?

Men must see a medical provider to be diagnosed with premature ejaculation. The most defining symptom for diagnosis is the inability to delay ejaculation for one minute or longer during sexual penetration. Men may not meet the criteria required to be diagnosed with premature ejaculation despite feeling they have the condition.

Men may be diagnosed with either lifelong or acquired premature ejaculation. Lifelong premature ejaculation describes symptoms that occur during nearly all sexual activity, beginning with early sexual encounters. Acquired premature ejaculation describes symptoms that occur after consistent sexual activity without complications.

A doctor will conduct a physical exam and take a thorough medical history to determine if the patient meets diagnostic criteria. They may recommend medication, at-home treatment, and counseling to address the root causes of the patient’s premature ejaculation.

How Can Premature Ejaculation be Prevented?

There is no guaranteed method of preventing premature ejaculation. A healthy lifestyle and an open outlook surrounding sex can help men to cope with issues related to sexual function and performance. Remember that premature ejaculation is common and that medical providers and counselors can help you to work through these issues.

What Treatments are Currently Available for Premature Ejaculation?

Blue pills.Men living with premature ejaculation may be prescribed medication or be referred to a specialist, such as a mental health provider or urologist. Traditional treatment options for premature ejaculation include behavioral therapy, sex therapy, pelvic floor exercises, topical anesthetics, and prescription medication. Successful treatment may take time and involve the use of multiple treatment methods.

The following medications are commonly prescribed to treat premature ejaculation:

  • Analgesics. These medications are used to treat pain but have also been shown to delay ejaculation.
  • Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as escitalopram, sertraline, paroxetine, or fluoxetine may delay ejaculation. These are common antidepressants that take up to two weeks to take effect.
  • Prescription lifestyle medications. Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors are used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), but may also help to delay ejaculation. They are especially helpful for men who also suffer from ED.
  • Topical anesthetics. Anesthetic creams, sprays, and wipes contain a numbing agent that reduces sensation and can help to delay ejaculation. Topical anesthetics should be applied 10 to 15 minutes prior to sexual activity.

Behavioral changes may also be recommended by a provider, such as using condoms to decrease sensitivity during sex and delay ejaculation. Men should always speak to a medical provider before taking any medication for premature ejaculation.

Experimental Treatments for Premature Ejaculation

In the past few years, researchers have attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments for premature ejaculation. One scientific review discussed three surgical procedures as potentially effective treatments for premature ejaculation. However, the authors noted that a combination of oral medications and behavioral therapies offers consistently effective and non-invasive treatment of premature ejaculation.

Additional prescription medications have also been cited as potential future treatments for premature ejaculation. These medications include:

  • Dapoxetine. This SSRI is currently used to treat premature ejaculation outside the United States.
  • Modafinil. This medication is used to treat sleeping disorders but may help to treat premature ejaculation.
  • Silodosin. This medication is used to treat prostate enlargement, a potential cause of premature ejaculation.

How Can I Overcome Premature Ejaculation?


Premature ejaculation is treatable for most men. A combination of treatment methods is often the key to overcoming the problem. This may involve counseling, prescription medication, and lifestyle changes. A medical provider can help men to identify the right combination of treatment methods for each patient’s situation.

Treating underlying conditions can help men to overcome problems with premature ejaculation. For example, severe anxiety surrounding sexual performance may best be treated by a counselor or a sex therapist. Men who suffer from ED and premature ejaculation may find success by addressing their ED symptoms first.

Prescription lifestyle medications are commonly prescribed for premature ejaculation on their own. A 2020 review of placebo-controlled trials found ED meds (PDE5 inhibitors) to be effective compared to placebo in treating premature ejaculation. Examples of safe and effective prescription PDE5 inhibitors include:

Fortunately, accessing safe and effective treatment for ED is easier than ever with Men can schedule an assessment with a medical provider and choose between a variety of erectile dysfunction treatment options, including a premature ejaculation kit and PDE5 inhibitors. Learn more today by visiting

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