Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates sooner during sexual intercourse than he or his partner would like.
Hormones, particularly testosterone, influence a man’s sexual performance. Hormonal imbalances, usually caused by age-related hormone loss, can cause sexual health issues in men such as erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and premature ejaculation (PE).
The good news is hormone replacement therapy has been shown to improve all of these hormone-related sexual problems, including PE.
What is Premature Ejaculation?
Men with PE ejaculate with very little stimulation. Technical definitions aside, most men (and their partners) consider an ejaculation to be “premature” or “too soon” if it occurs before penetration or very soon thereafter.
While PE does not get the kind of attention that other male sexual disorders such as ED do, it can be just as destructive to a man’s sex life. Premature ejaculation causes significant anxiety in men, which can lead to further sexual performance issues and place a lot of stress on relationships.
PE can be embarrassing for a man, so it may not get spoken about a lot, but it is much more common than you might imagine. Some research suggests that one-third of men have had the problem of finishing too quickly at one time or another. Other estimates say that as many as 40% of men have experienced at least one PE episode during their adult sexually active years.
If you think that ED or erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual complaint of men, think again. According to the American Urological Association, it is PE and not ED that is the most common sexual performance issues in adult males. Although, PE and ED can sometimes happen together; with the anxiety caused by thinking about climaxing too soon, causing erectile dysfunction. There are also certain hormonal imbalances in men that can contribute to both ED and PE.
Stress is a known risk factor for PE. Emotional or mental strain in any area of your life can play a role in premature ejaculation, limiting your ability to relax and focus during sexual encounters. Stress also can cause ED.
What Causes Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is a complex disorder with many possible causes. When boys first reach sexual maturity, orgasm with very little stimulation is normal. As time goes on, men start to recognize the sensation of “getting close” and train themselves to last longer, yet PE can still occur from time to time.
Sometimes the excitement of a new sex partner, or a new position or sexual act can cause PE. Stress and other emotional states can lead to PE. Even your testosterone and other hormone levels play a role in sexual performance, including how long you can last till orgasm.
There can be biological causes of PE and emotional causes of PE. Here is a little bit more about what we know about each.
Biological Issues That Can Cause Premature Ejaculation
The biological or physical issues that can lead to premature ejaculation include:
- Erectile dysfunction or other sexual performance issues
- Hormonal issues
- Depression that may be related to low levels of serotonin or dopamine
- Extra sensitive nerves about the penis
Emotional Issues That Can Cause Premature Ejaculation
Some of the mental or emotional issues that play a role in premature ejaculation could include:
- Having sex at a very young age
- Sexual abuse
- Poor body image
Drugs and Medications That Can Cause PE
The consumption of alcoholic beverages and the use of certain recreational drugs like cocaine and amphetamines can cause PE. You should minimize your intake of alcohol and these illicit substances if you already know you have issues with PE. Some prescription medications like those used to treat Parkinson’s disease have PE listed as a possible side effect.
Are There Other Causes of Premature Ejaculation?
While it is not commonly the case, there are some medical conditions that could cause PE. Hypertension, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis can all cause problems with sustaining intercourse for as long as you would like. Prostate disease and hypothyroidism have also been known to contribute to issues with premature ejaculation.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
While there are treatments for PE, our doctors have found that it is much better to try and prevent PE than to treat it.
If you are planning for a sexual encounter, and you are worried about PE, masturbating about an hour or so before engaging in sex has been shown to help men last longer.
But since sex is sometimes spontaneous – and the excitement of that is just the kind of thing that could trigger PE, it’s good to know some techniques to last longer during intercourse. One way that sex therapists recommend is “distracted thinking.”
In this PE prevention technique, you force yourself to think of lists of non-sexual things while being sexually aroused by your partner, such as lists of your favorite baseball players, counting off the suits in a deck of cards, or ticking off your most-loved pizza toppings.
PE, in general, may be prevented or minimized by taking certain nutritional supplements and making some dietary changes. Zinc and magnesium are two essential minerals that have a positive impact on sexual performance in men. You can take these as daily supplements or add foods that are rich in zinc and magnesium to your regular diet, such as:
- pumpkin seeds
- wheat germ cereal
- kidney beans
- sesame seeds
- beef and lamb
- dark chocolate
What If I Already Have PE?
Although preventing the condition is preferable, if you are already experiencing PE, there is no need to panic; our clinic has devised several successful methods to treat premature ejaculation.
There are a few specific techniques that we recommend that men experiencing PE try during intercourse that may prolong the interval before orgasm. These include:
- Start and stop: This is a technique designed to help you recognize the sensations of almost climaxing. It entails bringing yourself just to the point that your feel you are going to orgasm, then stopping for about 30 seconds, relaxing, and then you or your partner bring you back to that point again. Repeating this a few times will train your body to gain better control over your orgasms.
- Squeeze therapy: This is a similar technique to help gain control. In this method, you approach the point of orgasm and then squeeze the tip of the penis just enough to lose your erection. Let the penis go slack, and then stimulate again to get hard, and then repeat the action, thereby teaching yourself how to delay satisfaction.
Here are some other interventions that can help you avoid PE and enjoy sex longer.
- Premature ejaculation wipes – These are wipes that are saturated with a numbing agent such as lidocaine that can delay sensation and minimize PE issues.
- Topical creams – Similar to wipes, but in this case, the numbing agent is in the cream.
- Lidocaine spray – Again, same method but this time in a numbing spray.
- Climax control condoms – Climax control condoms are somewhat thicker than usual condoms and also may contain a numbing agent to help delay ejaculation.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – There are a number of hormones related to PE and sexual performance. If your PE issues are found to be caused by some kind of hormone imbalance, hormone therapy may be able to help.
What Do Hormones Have to Do With Premature Ejaculation?
Sexual performance in men is hormone related. As you probably know, testosterone is the most important androgen or male hormone. Testosterone has many functions in the male body, not the least of which is sexual maturity and your ability to perform sexually. Men with low testosterone almost always have issues with ED, and they often have issues with premature ejaculation as well.
Another critical hormone, human growth hormone, or HGH, plays a very urgent role in sex drive and sexual ability in men. As with low testosterone, men with low levels of HGH in their blood, may also experience any number of sexual health problems, including but not limited to premature ejaculation.
Age-related hormone loss, particularly age-related testosterone deficiency syndrome, can cause a number of sexual health issues in men. Men with low testosterone often have problems with a decreased sex drive as well as erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction or ED often occurs in conjunction with premature ejaculation.
In addition to hormone-related PE and ED often occurring together, there are a number of other non-sexual issues caused by age-related hormone loss that could also influence PE, such as obesity and heart disease.
Emotional states that can be brought on by low testosterone or age-related growth hormone deficiency, such as stress and anxiety, could also influence PE and sexual performance in older males.
Why Come to Our Clinic for Help with Premature Ejaculation
At our clinic, we will always treat men with PE or any kind of sexual dysfunction, for that matter, with the utmost respect and patience. Our doctors believe that men of all ages deserve to enjoy an active and enjoyable sex life for as long as they are healthy enough to engage in sexual activities.
We have designed successful programs to treat PE, erectile dysfunction, increase sexual stamina and increase sex drive so that every man can enjoy the sex life they deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premature Ejaculation
The fastest or best way to cure premature ejaculation depends on its root causes. If your PE is the result of hormonal issues, hormone replacement can and will help, but it could take time. If it is not hormonal, any and all of the behavioral changes and techniques mentioned above should act very quickly to resolve your issues with PE.
Some nutritional supplements have been found to help men with PE, such as zinc and magnesium. Dietary changes may also make a difference. Incorporating foods into your diet that are rich in zinc and magnesium may help increase the time it takes you to climax.
Usually, ejaculation less than 1 to 1 1/2 minutes after penetration is regarded as premature ejaculation. While it is possible for PE to resolve on its own, once you are experiencing frequent PE, the condition itself will last as long as you do not treat it either naturally or medically.
PE is a complex condition with any number of causes, so there is not really a “one size fits all” kind of treatment for PE. Treatment is very individualized and will take a several-pronged approach that gives you the tools to better handle the stress and the emotional issues that could be causing your premature ejaculation along with providing you lifestyle and behavioral changes, as well as exercises you can do that, will give you more control of your orgasms. If low hormones are part of your sexual health issues, hormone replacement therapy may also help reduce the occurrence of PE.
Having troubles with premature ejaculation? Contact our endocrinologists to find the root causes of this condition and get the best treatment.