What is premature ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is uncontrolled ejaculation either before or shortly after sexual penetration. It happens with minimal stimulation and before the person wishes. It can leave one or both partners feeling frustrated. And it can increase anxiety around sex. It is one of the most common forms of male sexual dysfunction.
What causes it?
Most cases of premature ejaculation do not have a clear cause. Premature ejaculation may occur with a new partner. It may happen only in certain sexual situations or if it has been a long time since the last ejaculation. Psychological factors such as anxiety, guilt, or depression can also cause it. In some cases, it may be related to a medical problem or a side effect of certain medicines.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of premature ejaculation is an uncontrolled ejaculation either before or shortly after intercourse begins. Ejaculation occurs before the person wishes it, with minimal sexual stimulation.
How is it diagnosed?
Your doctor will discuss your medical and sexual history with you. A physical exam will also be done. Your doctor may want to talk to your partner also. Premature ejaculation can have many causes. So your doctor may order lab tests to rule out any other medical problem.
How is premature ejaculation treated?
In many cases premature ejaculation gets better on its own over time. Treatment may not be needed.
Your doctor may recommend that you and your partner practice certain techniques to help delay ejaculation. Counseling or behavioral therapy may also help reduce anxiety related to premature ejaculation.
Antidepressant medicines are sometimes used to treat premature ejaculation. These include medicines like clomipramine (Anafranil) and paroxetine (Paxil). They are used because one of their side effects is inhibited orgasm, which helps delay ejaculation. There are also creams, gels, sprays, and wipes that may be used to treat premature ejaculation by reducing sensation.
Current as of: June 16, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology