Premature Ejaculation: Causes, Treatment, and When to See Your Doctor

Approximately one in three men experience premature ejaculation between the ages of 18 and 59. Thankfully, there are several treatments available, which depend on the cause. The first step is speaking to your doctor, read on to learn more about why you should.

7 minute read

Last Updated July 14, 2020

Premature Ejaculation Treatments - Men’s Health Symptoms - 1MD

Ejaculation occurs when the penis releases semen during an orgasm. Sometimes this happens faster than you would like, and this is known as premature ejaculation. 

Approximately one in three men experience this type of sexual dysfunction between the ages of 18 and 59. It is not to be confused with erectile dysfunction (ED), which is the inability to achieve an erection, but you can experience premature ejaculation when you have ED. 

Symptoms of Premature Ejaculation

When this happens on occasion, it is nothing to worry about, but treatment may be needed if it happens more frequently and begins to interfere with your sex life. 

The main symptom is an inability to delay ejaculation, but you can also experience rapid climax during masturbation. The condition is characterized by one of two ways. It could be acquired, which is when you experience regular ejaculation but develop premature ejaculation later. Or it could be lifelong, which indicates you have had this condition since your first sexual experience. 

Causes of Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be caused by emotional and psychological factors. Sometimes the causes are temporary, such as during early sexual experiences. As you get more experienced, you learn techniques to delay ejaculation. 

Underlying mental health conditions can also cause premature ejaculation, such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a history of sexual abuse. Many cases of premature ejaculation can be traced back to an earlier trauma, including:

♦ Traumatic experience with sex
♦ Conditioning, such as when teenagers learn to ejaculate quickly so as not to be caught masturbating
♦ Strict sexual teaching or upbringing

There are also physiological causes for premature ejaculation, such as abnormal hormone levels or inflammation of the urethra or prostate. Certain conditions are also related to premature ejaculation such as:

Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes interferes with blood sugar levels and causes blood vessel damage. This can impact blood supply to the penis resulting in erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

Multiple sclerosis: This condition is characterized by an attack of the immune system on the protective layer that surrounds the nerves. In the genital area, this can result in less sensation as well as impaired transmissions, causing premature ejaculation.

Prostate disease: The chronic inflammation associated with prostate disease, can cause premature ejaculation as a result of signal interference.

Thyroid problems: The thyroid gland plays a role in the production and control of many hormones in the body. An underactive (hypothyroidism) or an overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid can impact sexual activity through hormonal imbalance. As a result, men can experience low libido, delayed ejaculation, or premature ejaculation.

Excessive alcohol consumption: Chronic alcohol use or abuse has been strongly linked to sexual dysfunction. Individuals who are dependent on alcohol have a greater chance of suffering from sexual problems such as premature ejaculation.

It has also been discovered that serotonin plays a role in premature ejaculation. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter naturally produced by your nerves that contributes to feelings of happiness and wellbeing. 

When levels of serotonin in the brain are high, the time to ejaculation is increased. Lower levels of serotonin are linked to shorter times to ejaculation. While this is not thought to be the exact cause, this link explains why men with depression are more at risk for premature ejaculation.

Treatment for Premature Ejaculation

Treatment for premature ejaculation can either be psychological or behavioral. Your doctor will develop the right treatment plan based on the severity and causes of your condition. 

Psychological therapy: This will involve addressing any negative feelings you have that interfere with sexual function and overall happiness. The goal is to find solutions and to change thought processes, which in turn will reduce premature ejaculation. Having greater sexual confidence is linked to increased ejaculation times. This type of therapy can be done alone or combined with behavioral therapies. 

Behavioral therapy: These techniques are designed to build a tolerance to delay ejaculation. Along with getting regular exercise, these therapies include the squeeze and stop-start methods. The squeeze method involves squeezing the penis right before ejaculation to make it go away. The stop-start method involves stopping stimulation directly before the climax and starting again once the sensation subsides. Both are effective at helping you gain better control over ejaculation and climax.

Exercises for Premature Ejaculation

Research has found that Kegel exercises can help men with lifelong premature ejaculation. These exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles along the pelvic floor. 

Studies have found that after 12 weeks of regularly doing these exercises and physical therapy, 80 percent of men regained control over their ejaculation reflex. Physical therapy typically includes:

♦ Electrostimulation of the perineal floor
♦ Biofeedback to help understand how pelvic muscles are contracting
♦ Physio-kinesiotherapy for muscle contraction

Natural Treatment for Premature Ejaculation


Some conditions that cause premature ejaculation will require medical treatment. However, when prostate health is the cause, there are natural treatments you can try. 

USPlus Saw Palmetto treats benign prostate hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
Sunflower lecithin minimizes the risk of prostate cancer.
Pygeum treats enlarged prostate and inflammation.
Pumpkin seed extract maintains zinc levels in the prostate and treats BPH.

The prostate is an important organ that secretes fluid that nourishes and protects the sperm. The prostate can become enlarged and inflamed as a result of infection, and this impacts ejaculation through disrupted signaling.

There are natural ingredients to look for that can promote prostate health, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent inflammation. By promoting prostate health, your sperm health will be maintained, and the risk of premature ejaculation can be reduced.

When to See Your Doctor

Most men feel embarrassed about discussing premature ejaculation with their doctor, but the impact it has on sexual relationships is strong. Premature ejaculation is a common issue for men, so do not be shy about talking to your doctor about it. 

The sooner the issue is resolved, the sooner you can get back to a healthy sex life. While the condition is normal, there may be health contributing, so it is important to talk to your doctor and make sure everything is normal. 

What Is the Long-Term Outlook? 

With psychological and behavioral therapy, most men will recover from premature ejaculation. In some cases, medications can be prescribed to slow ejaculations, but natural therapies are recommended first. 

The long-term outlook is positive, so long as you work with your doctor to find a solution. Should there be any underlying condition causing the problem, your premature ejaculation should go away once the cause is addressed.

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