We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous Viagra and Cialis commercials on TV–as frequently as they run their ads you’d think practically every man across America is experiencing erectile dysfunction. But in reality, there is another male sexual issue rivaling erectile dysfunction and it is a common sexual complaint. In fact, it is more common in men across the age groups and is the most common sexual dysfunction in men under 40–premature ejaculation.
What is premature ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates sooner during sexual intercourse than he or his partner would like. It is estimated as many as one out of every three men experiences it at some time in their lives. If it happens infrequently, it’s not a cause for concern. However if it is occurring more frequently than you like and is negatively affecting your sex life, it’s time to discuss this with your doctor.
How is it diagnosed?
The diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation involves the following:
- Always or nearly always ejaculating within one minute of penetration
- Are unable to delay ejaculation during intercourse all or nearly all of the time.
- It is causing distress and frustration to the point of avoiding sexual intimacy.
Causes of premature ejaculation
There can be many causes why a man is having premature ejaculation. Psychological and biological factors contribute to the problem but the exact cause is usually unknown.
Psychological contributors may be where a man had to hurry to reach climax in different situations or feelings of guilt causing him to rush through sexual encounters. Those feelings are still with him to where he now is experiencing it on a frequent basis.
Possible biological factors include abnormal hormonal levels, thyroid problems, inherited traits, inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra, or abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system.
Other possible causes might stem from erectile dysfunction of men anxious being able to maintain an erection, anxiety over sexual performance or relationship problems.
How to treat it
For many men, bringing up premature ejaculation with their doctor can be embarrassing and yet it needs to be addressed as it is a common and treatable condition. There are several methods of treating premature ejaculation and with a little time and effort, it can be remedied.
One way is with behavioral techniques. Masturbating for an hour or two before intercourse to be able to delay ejaculation during sex can help. Another technique is to avoid intercourse for a few days and instead focus on sexual play where there is no pressure to have sexual intercourse.
There are topical anesthetic creams and sprays with a numbing agent that can be applied to the penis right before sex to reduce sensation helping to delay ejaculation. There can be potential side effects from this of decreased sexual pleasure for both the man and woman.
Certain oral medications are another way to possibly treat premature ejaculation. Some of the medications possibly helping include common antidepressants, analgesics, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors – none of which are specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat premature ejaculation but have been found to be effective for some men. Discuss with your doctor to see if these options would be suitable or not.
Another technique to try is called the squeeze-pause method credited to Masters and Johnson, highly renowned sex therapists who pioneered research in sex and sexual dysfunction in humans from 1957 to the 1990’s. By practicing this method, a man can train his body to delay orgasm longer avoiding premature ejaculation.
The sooner a man addresses any issues he may be having with premature ejaculation, the sooner he and his partner can begin having a more pleasurable and satisfying sex life.
Dr. David Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi’s blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and Facebook.