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How do I know if I have premature ejaculation?

June 22, 2022 • read

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How do I know if I have premature ejaculation?

You may find the idea of premature ejaculation embarrassing, but if you experience it, you’re definitely not alone. Premature ejaculation is likely the most prevalent form of sexual dysfunction out there. But while it may be common, premature ejaculation isn’t necessarily normal. Here’s everything you need to know about premature ejaculation, including how to treat it at home.

Premature ejaculation causes

Premature ejaculation (PE) can have a number of causes. If you’ve been experiencing PE since you started being sexually active, you’re classified as having primary, or life-long premature ejaculation. Doctors normally attribute this to psychological factors, like conditioning, or sexual trauma.

If you develop PE later on in life, you have secondary or acquired premature ejaculation. Drugs or alcohol can trigger secondary PE, but in many cases, hormonal imbalances may be at the root of the condition. This means that abnormal serotonin levels or changes to your thyroid-stimulating hormone production — like the kind caused by hyperthyroidism — can contribute to PE.

Additionally, PE is a common issue for those with diabetes, and men with acquired PE often have other chronic diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and prostatitis.

As with all things sexual, your psychological state plays a huge role. This means that beyond physical issues, mental health stressors like depression, stress, or performance anxiety can also play a role in provoking secondary PE in some cases. It can also be symptomatic of poor self-esteem or relationship problems.

Unlike many conditions, there are no additional premature ejaculation symptoms. Premature ejaculation is the sign that you’re experiencing this condition. 

Can too much masturbation cause premature ejaculation?

Regular self-stimulation makes you better at achieving orgasm, and the more practiced you are at it, the faster you can achieve climax. While it might seem like frequent masturbation can trigger PE, this is a myth.

Premature ejaculation is the result of an underlying physical condition, or due to psychological factors. Masturbating regularly isn’t going to result in PE. In fact, masturbating can be an important part of mastering your timing when it comes to ejaculating.

Why do I ejaculate so soon?

If you’re ejaculating before either you or your partner are ready for it to happen, it could be due to a number of factors. Sex is exciting, and it’s totally understandable that you might be overstimulated by the experience. This is normal, and likely happens to almost everyone at some point. This can also be a feature of being newly sexually active or with a new partner and may dissipate as you practice building your sexual stamina.

If you’ve been wrestling with PE for a long time, however, it may be the result of psychological conditioning. That means that it’s become normal for your body to respond to sex by ejaculating early in the act — perhaps earlier than you or your partner would like. While this can be very frustrating, there are techniques that can help you increase your sexual duration.

If, however, PE is a new phenomenon for you, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice. Regular episodes of PE that come out of nowhere could indicate an underlying health condition. This means that it’s worth exploring with a healthcare provider.

Is early ejaculation a problem?

Premature ejaculation doesn’t have a single definition. Some definitions include an ejaculation time limit of one minute or less after penetration. Other definitions, however, hinge on the inability of the man to control ejaculation and the distress that causes him.

Whatever your definition though, there’s no real-world time limit on when a man should ejaculate. Only you and your partner can determine if the timing leaves the experience unfulfilling.

Does erectile dysfunction cause premature ejaculation?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) means that you have difficulty getting or sustaining an erection. While it may seem like it’s the opposite of premature ejaculation, in some cases the two may go together.

If a man regularly experiences ED and is worried about sustaining an erection long enough to orgasm, he may aim to ejaculate as soon as possible. Without treatment for the underlying erectile dysfunction, he may get into the habit of ejaculating prematurely in order to secure an orgasm before he loses the opportunity. In this case, treating your erectile dysfunction is the first step towards addressing PE.

Ejaculatory dysfunction

Both ED and PE are conditions that fall under the heading of ejaculatory dysfunction. This term encompasses any condition that affects a man’s ability to ejaculate. It can include premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, but also encompasses conditions like anorgasmia (inability to orgasm), and anejaculation (taking a very long time to ejaculate) among others.

Is there a cure for premature ejaculation?

In most cases, premature ejaculation doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. You can treat premature ejaculation, and there are a number of options to do so. Sexual techniques you can practice may be all the intervention you need. In cases where those aren’t enough, however, additional help such as counselling, medication, or both, are available.

Premature ejaculation treatment

Treatment for your PE will depend on the underlying cause. If you have secondary PE, your healthcare provider will want to look at whether you’re experiencing symptoms of an underlying disorder, like a hormone imbalance, or have risk factors for one. If, however, you experience primary PE, treatment can take a couple of different routes. To begin, you may want to start experimenting with certain techniques at home.

Practice solo

This is a great technique to start with. Begin by initiating masturbation without the use of a lubricant. When you start to feel yourself getting close to orgasm, stop. Once you feel the sensations retreating, resume masturbating until you feel yourself nearing climax once again.

Repeat this cycle a couple of times before you orgasm. Throughout the practice, focus on your physical sensations, increasing your awareness of what it feels like as you progress towards climaxing.

Once you feel comfortable with this technique, change it up. Instead of stopping self-stimulation completely when you start to near orgasm, try to switch up your movements instead. You can decrease the amount, or change the type of touch you’re giving yourself. Once you feel more comfortable with this technique, you can practice it while using lubricant to increase sensation.

Practice with a partner

To begin, have your partner touch your penis, or begin to engage in intercourse. If you feel yourself getting close to ejaculation, stop all stimulation for 30 seconds or longer. Once you feel confident that you’re no longer near climax, begin the process again. Repeat this cycle a couple of times before you orgasm.

An alternative to stopping all sexual activity is to squeeze the tip of your penis where the head joins the shaft. Known as the squeeze technique, this action can be helpful for those with high penile sensitivity as it helps to prevent sperm from exiting the penis. In either case, if practicing these techniques with a partner proves too overwhelming, both can be adapted for use alone.

Try Kegels

You may have heard of Kegel exercises as a pelvic floor strengthening exercise for women, but they’re also a great form of exercise for premature ejaculation. One study showed that pelvic floor physiotherapy produced promising results in a group of men experiencing life-long PE. It seems that mastering control of these muscles may give you better mastery of your ejaculatory processes during sex.

To work on your pelvic floor muscles, try stopping your urine mid-stream, or pretend you’re keeping yourself from passing gas. Both of these actions involve contracting your pelvic floor muscles. Aim to tighten these muscles for around three to five seconds, then relax them for the same amount of time. Aim for a set of 10 of these exercises twice a day.

Eat a well-balanced diet

While there’s no “best food” for premature ejaculation, maintaining an overall healthy diet can be helpful. Since certain health conditions like heart disease or obesity can go hand in hand with PE, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet. A dietitian can help you do this by creating a custom meal plan to ensure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy and help stave off certain diseases.

Over-the-counter interventions

If you’re looking for additional tools, there are a few different options. Many men report that adding a condom can reduce the intensity of sexual stimulation. Condom manufacturers even advertise specific products geared towards this. These may be designated as “extra strength,” “extended pleasure,” or even as “delay.”

Penis rings are another device that can help prolong ejaculation. Meant to be worn around the base of your penis, these rings are designed to reduce blood flow. This can help to delay orgasm and prolong sex.

If penis rings aren’t your thing, you may want to try a topical numbing agent. These come in the form of a cream, wipes, or a spray that you apply to your penis about 15 minutes before sex. The idea is to numb the penis slightly to reduce sensation, thereby prolonging the time until ejaculation. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after application to avoid transferring any of the products to your partner’s body.

Medical intervention

In some PE cases, medical support may be necessary. If you’ve experienced sexual trauma, for example, you may benefit from counselling before being able to address the PE. Therapy is also useful for treating other psychological concerns such as performance anxiety or depression.

Alternatively, your healthcare provider can help to address your PE by prescribing certain medications if they deem it appropriate. Some men benefit from taking SSRIs — a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, a chemical messenger that plays an inhibitory role in ejaculation.

If you and your healthcare provider choose to go this route, they’ll likely prescribe you an SSRI like paroxetine (Paxil) or fluoxetine (Prozac). Another premature ejaculation pill in Canada your provider might prescribe is sildenafil (Viagra). While typically used for ED, Viagra for premature ejaculation has also been shown to be effective for PE.

When your sex life isn’t going well it can trigger a cascade, affecting your self-esteem and your relationship with your partner. While you may find it embarrassing to talk about your sexual health, ignoring premature ejaculation isn’t going to make it go away.

Practicing some at-home techniques might be all the help you need. But if it isn’t, or if premature ejaculation is a new phenomenon for you, seeing a doctor should be the next step. Speak to a doctor online today and take the first step towards a more satisfying sex life.

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