• FREE Delivery or Collection Today from LloydsPharmacy and 280+ Sainsbury's
  • Regulated by the CQC
  • UK Registered Clinical Team
  • No Appointment Needed

The Difference Between Erectile Dysfunction And Premature Ejaculation

A happy couple lie on a bed smiling

One of our resident Doctors, Dr Samantha Wellappili, is answering a regular question and answer with our patients. You can log in to your Patient Record if you would like to ask one of our clinicians a question about your treatment.

Premature Ejaculation

Premature Ejaculation (PE) is when ejaculation happens sooner than a man or his partner would like during sex.  There are two types of PE – Primary (that is lifelong PE) and Secondary (when you develop this some time after you first became sexually active). 

Primary PE can have both psychological and physical causes, or it can be genetic.  It often has psychological triggers such as upbringing, or a traumatic sexual experience.  Secondary PE is acquired later in life and can come on gradually or suddenly.  Physical causes of secondary PE include diabetes, high blood pressure, an under or over-active  thyroid, erectile dysfunction, alcohol and recreational drugs.  Psychological causes include depression and sexual performance anxiety.

PE might not be a cause for worry. It can be frustrating if it makes sex less enjoyable and impacts relationships. 

Premature Ejaculation Treatments

There are several different types of treatment for PE, ranging from counselling to prescription medicines such as Priligy. If you have found yourself ejaculating too quickly during sex, and would like to change this, then it is probably a good idea to think about what might be causing the problem, before seeking the appropriate treatment.

There are currently no medicines that provide a permanent solution for PE, however using it in combination with the behavioural techniques and counselling may help to provide a longer term solution. Behavioural techniques allow you to train your body to resist ejaculation. The medical treatments that can be used alongside behavioural techniques are either a local anaesthetic cream to numb the penis, allowing you to last longer during sex or a tablet that delays your ejaculation – ‘Priligy’. You should seek counselling to address any psychological causes. If you are suffering from PE and unsure about how to proceed, it is best to talk to a trained medical professional about it, whether it is your GP, a counsellor or one of our doctors via our online service.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), is a condition where it is hard to get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sex. 

Most men have problems with erections from time to time. In some, these problems are regular and more severe.

While ED becomes more common as men age, growing old is not the lone cause of the problem. ED can be an early sign of a more serious health problem. Finding and treating the cause(s) of your ED can improve your overall health and well-being. ED can result from health or emotional problems, or from both combined.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatments

‘PDE-5 inhibitors’ have been created which help treat ED. Possible options are:

  • Sildenafil
  • Viagra (the brand of Sildenafil)
  • Tadalafil
  • Cialis (the brand version of Tadalafil)
  • Levitra
  • Spedra
  • Vitaros cream

Vacuum pumps are a possible alternative. A vacuum pump is placed over the penis, and then a bulb is gently squeezed to remove air from the pump. This gently draws blood into the erectile tissue to create an erection.

These treatments will help usually with the ED, but further investigation is needed to rule out treatable underlying causes

Psychological causes

Sometimes ED is not caused by a physical symptom, but rather by stress, performance anxiety, or another underlying psychological condition. In these cases it is common to undergo counselling in order to address the underlying issue. This may be combined with a medical regime that addresses the problem in the short-term. Once the counselling has resolved the issue, medical treatment can be ceased.

Physical causes

Reduced blood flow or harm to nerves in the penis can result in erection problems. These can be caused by heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, surgery, injuries and even smoking. Some medicine, as well as alcohol or other drugs may also cause erection problems. Emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen ED as well.

At LloydsPharmacy we have a discreet online clinic for erectile dysfunction run by our team of GPs. Visit our ED clinic today and find out if prescription treatments could work for you.