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Premature Ejaculation

What is premature ejaculation?

Ejaculation is the release of sperm and semen during a man’s orgasm. Ejaculation may be called premature, or too fast, if a man has an orgasm before or within a few minutes after entering his partner. It is a problem only if it keeps a couple from having sexual experiences that are satisfying for both partners.

About one third of American men have trouble controlling when they have an orgasm. This problem is more likely to affect younger men than older men. However, some men may always have this problem.

What is the cause?

Many things can affect the timing of orgasm, such as:

  • Excitement
  • The sensitivity of the penis
  • Feelings such as guilt, anxiety, or fear

Infrequent sex also affects control. A man with normally good control may reach orgasm quickly after a long time without sex. Premature ejaculation is also common the first few times a man has sex with a new partner.

Medical problems are rarely a cause.

How is it treated?

Many men can learn to control their ejaculation. This means learning how to control the various things that affect when you have an orgasm. Men with good control can be sexually aroused for quite a while before choosing to ejaculate.

If you are concerned about premature ejaculation, ask for help from a healthcare provider who has training and experience in treating sexual problems. The healthcare provider or therapist can suggest ways to lengthen the time between sexual arousal and orgasm. For example, you might change the thoughts and fantasies you have during sex. Also, learning and practicing the "start-stop" or "squeeze" techniques can help. Ask your provider about these techniques.

There are some things you can do to make the penis less sensitive. For example, you can use a condom or a numbing cream that your provider can prescribe for you.

In rare cases your provider may prescribe other medicines, such as certain types of antidepressants, that can prolong the time it takes to have an ejaculation.

To learn more, ask your provider or a sex therapist for information. To find a specialist in this area, ask your provider or check with your state board or department of mental health.

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Published by RelayHealth.
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