Understanding Premature Ejaculation
We’ve all likely asked ourselves the following question at some point in our lives – do i suffer from premature ejaculation?
Whether you’ve only experienced what you believe to be the symptoms of this common sexual condition a couple of time (and perhaps just tried to ignore them) or you’re worried that one occasion of under performing has become all too regular, you’ve no doubt started to Google and research the meaning of premature ejaculation and how to stop or cure the symptoms.
In this article we’re going to break it down and answer some of the most common questions relating to this embarrassing sexual condition that affects one in three men across the globe – by the end you’ll have an understanding of premature ejaculation and a good idea on how to treat it.
What is premature ejaculation?
Put simply, the meaning of premature ejaculation is the inability for a man to hold himself back (control timing) from reaching orgasm – generally this lack of control results in ejaculation within 1 to 3 minutes of vaginal penetration having occurred.
As we’ll come onto in a minute, that time period of 1-3 minutes will vary man to man in many cases based on when the symptoms started – notably there are two different types of premature ejaculation and specific timescales affect how the condition of PE is generally categorised.
How common is premature ejaculation?
Based on numerous studies there are varying opinions as to how many men are actually affected by this condition however a rough estimate indicates that regardless of age approximately 30% of men suffer from PE – a condition that is deemed to be the most common male sexual disorder.
Despite knowing how many guys suffer from premature ejacuation, it’s still not a topic you’d really want to discuss with your spouse or friends so although studies can indicate an approximate percentage, the number of men suffering from PE and choosing to suffer in silence is likely even higher.
Put simply, you’re not the only one that has this condition – in fact, statistically for every 3 men you see today, 1 of them will suffer from some degree of premature ejaculation. Your not alone!
It’s also worth noting that in a lot of studies and research that specifically looks at the symptoms and causes of premature ejaculation, a lot of reference is made to that time period after vaginal intercourse has commenced however it’s completely possible and common for PE to occur in any form of sexual situation even during the process of masturbation or before intercourse has commenced.
What are the symptoms of premature ejaculation?
Having clarified what premature ejaculation is and how common it is, we’ll now be more accurately able to highlight what the exact symptoms of this embarrassing medical condition are – that said, symptoms will invariably differ person to person.
There are generally three-core symptoms that contribute and cause premature ejaculation and allow it to be identified.
- Symptom 1: the ejaculation routinely occurs when there is very little sexual stimulation and as a result there is very little ability to control the timing of arousal or orgasm – in some cases ejaculation can occur even before penetration is achieved (this would be classified as severe premature ejaculation).
- Symptom 2: due to the inability to control the timing of orgasm this can lead to decreased sexual pleasure. Not only is this a symptom for you (the man) but it can also lead to a decrease in sexual pleasure for your partner – if sex only gets as far as foreplay before it’s all over, it’s completely understandable that there’s going to be some disappointment and decrease in pleasure from both parties involved (especially if it happens time and time again).
- Symptom 3: this symptom relates to your mental well-being and how you feel. With repeated occurrences of premature ejaculation, it’s understandably easy to start having thoughts and feelings of frustration, embarrassment and even guilt especially if your partner isn’t understanding or supportive of what you’re going through.
What sort of premature ejaculation do I have?
The type of premature ejaculation that you have can be classified as either Lifelong PE (primary) or Acquired PE (secondary).
- Lifelong premature ejaculation – this form of premature ejaculation is known as the primary version of the condition. It occurs with the first and all following sexual encounters. This type of Lifelong (primary) premature ejaculation is generally classified as occurring within approximately one minute of vaginal penetration. Statistically this type of lifelong or primary premature ejaculation is thought to affect approximately 2% of the male population.
- Acquired premature ejaculation – this is often referred to as secondary premature ejaculation and is a condition that men experience having seen no symptoms in the past however start to develop PE during later sexual experiences. The time scales for acquired premature ejaculation also slightly different – they are generally slightly longer between 3 minutes or less.
So if you’re managing to last more than 3 minutes does that mean you don’t suffer from premature ejaculation?
How long, is long enough?
Is very easy to say that when you’re having sex you can’t last as long as you want to (every many wants to last longer… as though we think that lasting longer means we’re more manly or just way better at sex than those that last a shorter amount) however in the grand scheme of things, how long should you actually be lasting?
There have been numerous surveys over the years and although on average 80% of both men and women would ideally like sex to last approximately 30 minutes, the reality is that heterosexual intercourse actually lasts considerably shorter – in fact the average is closer to 6 minutes!
Amusingly this is quite a step up from the 1940s when a study found that approximately 75% of American men reached climax within just 2 minutes of starting intercourse (which by today’s standards would be deemed premature ejaculation) whilst during the 80s and 90s the definition of premature ejaculation was based on between 8 to 15 thrusts however in more recent times, sexologist have refined that figure down to a matter of minutes rather than physical actions e.g. “thrusts”.
If you’re lasting 6 or more minutes then you’re actually performing a normal duration as compared to many other men. That said if you want to last longer than you currently do whether you do or do not suffer from erectile dysfunction, we’ve briefly listed some of the specific treatments and methods you can use to last that little bit longer.
So why do some men experience premature ejaculation? And others do not?
What causes premature ejaculation?
In our other longer article on the 13 reasons why you’re suffering from premature ejaculation we go on to highlight that there isn’t just a single reason for the cause of blowing your load before you reach that average 6 minute mark.
The causes of premature ejaculation are numerous and varied however ultimately you need to understand whether you’re suffering from psychological or physical causes – each cause of premature ejaculation will potentially require a slightly different approach and method to treatment.
In the case of psychological premature ejaculation we talking about causes such as stress, depression, relationship issues and other forms of anxiety.
Where physical premature ejaculation is concerned we think and consider aspects such as age but also beyond that less visible and obvious conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, hormone levels and even lack of sleep.
Whatever the cause of your premature ejaculation, the first and most importantly step is to see a medical professional.
Take away the guesswork which could well lead to zero results and even more notably PE symptoms given the frustration you might feel from trying but failing – determine exactly why your suffering and just go and see a doctor!
There’s no point trying to treat a psychological condition when perhaps you have a physical condition vice a versa so it’s very important that you understand and define exactly what causes your existing conditions.
Does premature ejaculation get worse with age?
Within theory you could say that symptoms of premature ejaculation resolve over time the older you get.
Some people think that PE tends to affect younger less inexperienced men – that assumption is correctly given age generally equates to experience, less case of nerves (hence being more sexually secure) not to mention the body starting to slow down, more stimulation being needed and even onset of other conditions such as erectile dysfunction.
Whilst PE may be more common in younger men if left untreated, premature ejaculation can and will get worse with age.
If experienced regularly over the long term, your ejaculation reflex (the reflex that allows the delivery of semen during orgasm) can strengthen and that combined with your premature ejaculation results in what we call rapid ejaculation reflex – basically you’ve had PE for that long, your body thinks it’s normal and hence treatment can be more of an uphill struggle.
Does premature ejaculation affect fertility/sperm count?
Premature ejaculation does not directly affect your sperm count or your level of fertility. That said suffering from PE does have the potential to restrict the ability to conceive.
Firstly premature ejaculation can in some cases be caused by an underlying condition and that underlying condition in turn can affect your fertility levels hence its always advised that you determine the cause of your PE by consulting a medical professional.
Secondly, some men are afflicted by a very severe level of premature ejaculation – what this means is that arousal levels and the inability to control the timing of orgasm can result in ejaculation occurring even before penetration has occurred. Needless to say, if that happens being able to conceive naturally will be a stressful and ineffective endeavour.
Does premature ejaculation cure itself?
If you’ve only experienced PE once or twice then there is a good chance that it was just nerves, stress or even having had too much to drink. In that respect the symptoms may well resolve themselves without any direct treatment being taken – You could say that yes it is possible for premature ejaculation to cure itself without any direct intervention.
That sounds that is the best case scenario and the reality is if it’s happened two or three times within a short space of time is more likely going to happen again and because you’re thinking about it happening again there’s a high chance it’s something that happens all the time or at least on a regular basis.
Put simply you probably going to want to consider and try some form of treatment to alleviate the symptoms.
Treatment of premature ejaculation
As well as a varied number of causes, there are equally various approaches to treating premature ejaculation. The method best suited to you will depend on your circumstances, the diagnosis by a doctor, a personal preference and also the degree of premature ejaculation that you’re suffering from.
As a first step you can try thicker condoms, pelvic floor muscle exercises (or Kegel exercises as they also name) or restriction ring whilst penis pumps are also shown to help strength the penis and improve penile health that can in some cases reduce PE symptoms.
Secondly there are more direct medication based approaches – these can include oral medications (both natural over the counter solutions as well as prescription based drugs), and beyond that more extreme treatment methods such as penile injections using botox.
It’s also worth noting that when we’re talking about treatment by medication, it may well be the case that your premature ejaculation is caused by an underlying condition (as we highlighted in the section above on the causes of PE).
By treating the underlying condition you may simply your PE resolves itself!
Third and finally it’s worth thinking about your mental well-being and the psychological factors that could cause your condition.
In some cases getting support or input from a therapist who can help you come to terms with why you feeling the way you feel is all you need. It’s this mental state of mind that can have the potential to cause your symptoms and with the help of a therapists you be able to not only understand the psychological implications but also confront and over the long-term overcome them.