Premature ejaculation causes and treatments
For many men seeking premature ejaculation (PE) treatment, the internet is the first point of call. Our team understands that seeking help face to face with a GP can be a daunting prospect, and we’ve worked hard to provide a discreet, easy-to-use service that will suit your needs. Below are our answers to some common questions about PE.
What is premature ejaculation?
Put simply, PE means that you are ejaculating (finishing or “coming”) too early. For some men this means that they ejaculate before actually entering the vagina or anus, and for others it means that they ejaculate within a few seconds of penetration. If you can last for more than two minutes this is not considered to be PE. PE can put a lot of stress on a relationship and it can affect your confidence.
Most men will experience episodes of PE at some point in their lives, and for most it’s not an ongoing issue. If PE is affecting you or your partner you can get advice from your GP or from a service such as our online clinic.
What types of premature ejaculation are there?
It's commonly accepted that there are two types: lifelong, which starts since first becoming sexually active, and acquired, i.e. starting later in life. The condition can occur with all partners and situations or only with a specific partner or in a certain situation.
What causes premature ejaculation?
There usually isn’t one single factor that causes PE. It is thought to be multifactorial, i.e. caused by several smaller issues that all add up. It can also be genetic or in some cases due to a medical problem, for example prostatitis, an overactive thyroid, alcohol or drug use. It can also be associated with erectile dysfunction.
For most men however it’s caused by psychological and/or emotional issues, stress, depression or relationship difficulties. Early sexual experiences (for example having to “finish off“ quickly for fear of being caught masturbating) or sexual trauma can also be a reason for developing PE.
For many men it’s simply about being young, or being anxious about a particular sexual encounter or not having had sex for a while. For many men PE becomes less of an issue as they get older as they learn to delay ejaculation
What are the treatment options for premature ejaculation?
Whatever the causes, there are many different ways of treating PE. The most common treatments are:
- Prescription tablets, such as Priligy. Priligy is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that is specifically used for treating PE. It has shown to be very effective in delaying ejaculation.
- Local anaesthetic creams, such as EMLA, that work by desensitising (numbing) the penis when applied. The cream should be applied at least 15 minutes before intercourse and should be washed off afterwards. These are not licensed treatments for PE, but have been prescribed for many men with success.
- Condoms that contain a local anaesthetic.
- Behavioural techniques (self-control techniques) that help the man to ‘unlearn’ premature ejaculation. You may need professional advice on how to benefit from these techniques. These are most likely to give permanent results.
- Counselling, to alleviate the emotional or psychological causes of your PE.
Our online PE clinic offers both Priligy and EMLA cream, alongside a free online assessment by NHS experienced clinicians, meaning you can seek medical help for your condition from the comfort of your own home.
What should I do about premature ejaculation?
If you find that your premature ejaculation is making you feel unhappy, unfulfilled or embarrassed, then you should try not to worry. You should also think about talking to your GP or taking our short online assessment. Our clinical team will then be able to give you advice and suggest treatments.