Premature Ejaculation: Its Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments
By definition, premature ejaculation occurs when a man has an orgasm early – earlier than he or his partner would like him to. This may be an inconvenience that shortens the sexual experience or it could be a severe problem that occurs before actually intercourse begins. Premature ejaculation (aka PE) is an embarrassing situation for the man, and can lead to additional issues because of the anxiety and self consciousness it can cause. It does not have to be a permanently recurring issue, however, and once you and your doctor understand the cause of the early ejaculation, it can be treated. The fact is that this is the most common occurrence of sexual dysfunction in men under 40 years old.
Premature Ejaculation Causes
Psychological issues are often to blame for the problem of premature ejaculation. Anxiety, insecurity, and even guilt can play a role in the issue. Over stimulation, whether it is psychological or physical may also play a role. We often associate this problem with young, inexperienced men who are nervous and over-anxious, but the fact is that it can happen to any man at any age. While it is very seldom caused by any physical illness or problem, it can be a side effect for some psychotropic drugs, and is therefore associated with some forms of mental illness indirectly.
Symptoms of Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation is really a product of a lack of control over one’s sexual climax. If a man orgasms and ejaculates early — meaning after only 6 or 8 minutes of sexual intercourse, this is not necessarily premature ejaculation. It is only a symptom of this dysfunction if the man and his partner were not ready for the climax, and the man was unable to delay his ejaculation. In most cases, a man can control and delay his climax until the point at which he is ready to ejaculate. In the case of sexual dysfunction, he has no control and may climax before sexual contact even begins in some severe cases.
There are several options for a man who suffers from frequent premature ejaculation, with “frequent” being defined as affecting more than 50% of sexual encounters. Most of these treatment options deal with learning to control one’s body physically to avoid early ejaculation. The first recommendation a professional will recommend is relaxation techniques and practice. Practice can be done during masturbation as a man learns to control his own thoughts, delaying and controlling his climax.
The couple may wish to try the “squeeze” method of preventing premature ejaculation. In this method, just before the man reaches climax, he pulls out, and either he or his partner squeezes the tip of his penis – at the point where the glans and shaft meet – and hold it for 30 seconds. Once they have stopped sexual activity for this amount of time, they can start again, giving him a chance to focus again.
Another method is the “stop and start” system. With this method, the couple enjoys their sexual encounter, but every time the man nears climax, they stop for 30 seconds, then start again. When they are ready, he can be allowed to go to climax. This can actually be enjoyable and tantalizing for both partners, and it gives his body practice controlling his orgasms.
Medical Treatments Help Early Ejaculation
Because premature ejaculation is generally not considered a physiological condition, a physician will seldom recommend or prescribe medications. However, doctors have found that antidepressants are sometimes effective because they treat potentially underlying issues. These medications, particularly Prozac and other SSRI’s, are doubly effective because a delayed orgasm is a side effect of the medication.
Your doctor may also recommend a local anesthetic to be applied to the penis. The idea is that the cream will diminish the stimulating sensations to the penis, thus delaying orgasm. For some men, simply using a condom will have the desired effect for the same reason. With less physical stimulation, men will find that it takes longer to reach orgasm.
How to Seek Treatment for Early Ejaculation
When the first troubling occurrences of premature ejaculation occur, a man’s first instinct will probably be to see his doctor. This makes sense. At best, it is an embarrassing problem that prevents sexual satisfaction. At worst, it can prevent a couple from getting pregnant and cause a long term strain on a marriage or relationship. The family doctor will likely perform a physical to rule out any physical problem, but premature ejaculation is generally a psychological problem, and he will probably recommend counseling, alone or for couples. The good news is that premature ejaculation can be treated and need not be a chronic problem with the proper care and treatment.