So, what is premature ejaculation? Well, premature ejaculation is where a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse. It is a common ejaculation problem and some health professionals prefer the term “rapid ejaculation.”
A study involving 500 couples found that the average time for ejaculation was about five and a half minutes after starting sex. The current international guidelines define premature ejaculation as regularly ejaculating within one minute of entering your partner. If ejaculation times are causing you persistent stress, not to worry there are solutions to help you treat this issue.
Starting out with the most common option and that is medication, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are available to you. SSRIs are mainly used to treat depression, but one of their side effects is delaying ejaculation. Dapoxetine is an SSRI specifically designed to treat premature ejaculation.
Dapoxetine can be used “on demand”. You’ll usually be advised to take it between one and three hours before sex, but not more than once a day. If you fail to respond to treatment with dapoxetine, your GP may recommend you to try a different SSRI on an “off label” basis if they decide it is the best interest of the patient on the basis of available evidence.
Other SSRIs that may be prescribed for premature ejaculation include paroxetine, sertraline or fluoxetine. You will usually need to take these types of SSRIs for a week or two before gaining the full effects. The use of anaesthetic creams and sprays such as lidocaine or prilocaine cream can help by making your penis less sensitive. Combing an anaesthetic cream with a condom can be particularly effective. Your GP should be able to recommend a suitable cream.
Alternatively, there are a number of self-help techniques you can try before seeking medical help. These include:
- Masturbating an hour or two before having sex.
- Using a thick condom to help decrease sensation.
- Taking a deep breath to briefly shut down the ejaculatory reflex (an automatic reflex of the body, during which ejaculation occurs)
- Having sex with your partner on top (to allow them to pull away when you are close to ejaculating)
- Taking breaks during sex and distracting yourself by thinking about something completely different
If you are in a long-term relationship, you may benefit from having couples’ therapy. You will be encouraged to explore issues that may be affecting your relationship and be given advice on how to resolve them. You may also be shown techniques that can help you “unlearn” the habit of premature ejaculation.