Premature Ejaculation: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What Is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a condition in which a man ejaculates too soon during sexual intercourse than he or his partner would like. Premature ejaculation is a common sexual dysfunction.

Estimates differ, but at least 1 out of 3 men state that they experience this problem occasionally.

As long as it happens once in a while, it’s not a significant cause for concern. You can be diagnosed with PE if you:

  • Are unable to delay ejaculation during intercourse nearly all of the time
  • Always or most often ejaculate within one minute of penetration.
  • Feel upset and frustrated, and tend to avoid sexual intimacy as a consequence
  • Both biological and psychological factors can play a crucial role in premature ejaculation. Although most men feel embarrassed discussing it, PE is a common and treatable medical condition. Counselling, medications, and sexual techniques that slow down ejaculation or a combination of these – may help improve sex for you and your partner.

What Are The Symptoms Of Premature Ejaculation?

The main symptom of PE is the incapability to delay ejaculation for more than one minute after penetration. However, the problem can arise in all sexual situations, even during masturbation.

Premature ejaculation can be categorized as:

  • Lifelong (primary) PE: Lifelong premature ejaculation occurs all or nearly all of the time, starting with your initial sexual encounters.
  • Acquired (secondary) PE: Acquired premature ejaculation develops after you’ve had some sexual experiences without ejaculatory difficulties.

Several men think that they have premature ejaculation symptoms, but those symptoms don’t meet the diagnostic standards for premature ejaculation.

Instead, these men could have natural variable premature ejaculation, which comprises periods of rapid ejaculation as well as periods of normal ejaculation.

What Are The Common Causes & Risk Factors Of Premature Ejaculation?

The cause of premature ejaculation is not known. But your brain chemistry can be partly a reason. Men who have reduced levels of the brain chemical serotonin tend to take less time to ejaculate.

Emotional factors can also play a crucial role:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Concern over your sexual performance
  • Lack of confidence or poor body image
  • Negative feelings about the idea of sex (sexual repression)

The following physical conditions can also lead to PE:

  • Abnormal hormone levels
  • Unusual levels of neurotransmitters (an imbalance of the brain chemicals that send impulses or messages to the rest of your body)
  • Genetic traits you derive from your parents
  • Inflammation or an infection in your urethra or prostate (the tube that extends from your bladder and discharges pee out of the body)

At times, PE can be an issue for men with erectile dysfunction (ED). That’s when you are unable to get or maintain erections for sex. Men who are distressed may lose their erection and develop a pattern of rushing to ejaculate.

Receiving treatment for erectile dysfunction can make premature ejaculation go away. There are numerous medication options. 

Also Read: 4 Diseases That Affect Men’s Sexual Health

How Is Premature Ejaculation Diagnosed?

It is common for men to be able to have at least some control of if and when they ejaculate during masturbation and partnered sex.

Suppose a man does not feel that he has control of when ejaculation occurs, and if there is a probability that you can have premature ejaculation.

When PE interferes with your sexual pleasure, you should consult your healthcare specialist immediately. The diagnosis is determined by if ejaculation occurs soon, late, or not at all.

Generally, your health care provider will diagnose PE after a physical exam. The doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • How frequently does PE happen?
  • How long have you had this problem?
  • Does PE occur with each attempt at sex?
  • What kind of sexual activity (i.e., foreplay, masturbation, intercourse, use of visual cues, etc.) do you take part in, and how often?
  • Is there anything that makes PE better or worse (i.e., alcohol, drugs, etc.)?
  • Does this happen with just one partner or all partners?
  • How has PE transformed your sexual activity?
  • How are your personal relationships?

Lab testing is only required if your health care specialist discovers something during your physical exam.

How Is Premature Ejaculation Treated?

In most cases, there’s a physical cause behind PE, and the prognosis is good. If PE occurs in starting a new sexual relationship, the problems usually go away on their own with time. 

But if the problem remains, your doctor may recommend having counseling with a specialized therapist in sexual relationships.

There’s no medication approved for treating premature ejaculation in the United States, although certain antidepressants can help delay ejaculation to some extent.

Dapoxetine is used in a few countries to treat certain types of primary and secondary PE. This is a rapid-acting SSRI that is licensed to treat premature ejaculation. However, it can be only used if:

  • Vaginal sex persists for less than 2 minutes before ejaculation occurs
  • Ejaculation recurrently takes place after inadequate sexual stimulation and before, during, or shortly after the initial penetration, and before he wishes to climax
  • There is insufficient control over ejaculation
  • There is marked personal distress or interpersonal difficulty because of the PE
  • Most attempts of sexual intercourse in the past six months have involved premature ejaculation

Side effects of this drug are nausea, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea.

Home Remedies For Premature Ejaculation

The following two methods can be beneficial for men:

The start-and-stop method: It is done to enhance a man’s control over ejaculation. Either the man or his partner ceases sexual stimulation at the moment when he feels he is just about to have an orgasm, and they restart once the feeling of forthcoming orgasm has dwindled.

The squeeze method: This method is similar to the previous one, but the man softly presses the end of the penis, or his partner does this for him, for about 30 seconds before resuming stimulation.

A man tries to accomplish this upward of three or four times before allowing himself to ejaculate. The practice is essential, and if the problem lasts, it may be worth consulting a doctor.


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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.