When having sexual intercourse, do you find yourself frequently ejaculating quicker than you or your partner desire?
You’re not alone. Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common male sexual dysfunction, that is estimated to affect 20-40% of the general population.
According to Mayo Clinic, about one in three men report experiencing PE at some point in their lives.
- What is premature ejaculation?
- Premature ejaculation causes
- How to help cure premature ejaculation at home
- Getting help for your premature ejaculation
If PE is making sex less enjoyable or impacting your relationship, here are some natural tips that can help.
What is premature ejaculation?
Ejaculation is the expulsion of semen from the penis during an orgasm. When a man ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse, this is referred to as premature ejaculation.
There are two types of premature ejaculation:
- Lifelong (primary) premature ejaculation – This is when when PE occurs regularly, starting with your first sexual encounter, and continues to persist
- Acquired (Secondary) premature ejaculation – This develops after a period of relatively normal sexual function without ejaculatory problems
A study discovered that the average time for ejaculation was approximately 5.4 minutes after starting sex, and could be longer for men who have sex with men.
When it comes to premature ejaculation, international guidelines define it as ejaculation within one minute of sexual intercourse.
The main premature ejaculation symptoms are:
- Always or nearly always ejaculating within one minute of sexual activity
- Being unable to delay ejaculation during sex all or nearly all of the time (typically for more than a minute)
- Being unable to extend climax during masturbation
- Feeling frustrated and avoiding sexual intimacy as a result
However, if you experience occasional premature ejaculation, as well as normal ejaculation, you may just have natural variable premature ejaculation, which is nothing to worry about. If, however, you frequently experience the symptoms of PE, then you may have the condition.
Premature ejaculation causes
In some cases, there are psychological, physical and biological factors that can contribute to premature ejaculation. Primary PE is often caused by psychological or biological factors, whereas secondary PE can be both psychological and physical.
Below are some factors that are related to PE.
Common psychological causes of PE
- Poor body image or lack of confidence
- Relationship problems
- Anxiety about sexual performance
Other psychological causes include guilty emotions, history of sexual repression (e.g., religious beliefs), and traumatic childhood sexual experiences.
Common physical causes of PE
- Prostate problems
- Thyroid problems
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Using recreational drugs
Another physical cause can be Erectile dysfunction (ED). In some cases, men who experience ED can have issues with PE, so once ED is treated PE may no longer be a problem. Also, men who are worried about obtaining or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse may adopt a regular pattern of rushing to ejaculate.
Common biological causes of PE
- Abnormal hormone levels
- Abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
- Abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system
- Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
- Inherited traits
Other causes for PE
Although PE can occur at any age and aging is not a direct cause of PE, growing older can cause changes in erection and ejaculation. Aging can reduce the strength and volume of your ejaculation in comparison to in your youth, and erections may not last as long before ejaculation occurs. Older men can be more anxious about maintaining their erection during sexual intercourse, which can bring on PE or make it worse. To reduce the risk of PE, it’s recommended to take pressure off the penis and not be so genital-focused during sex by embracing body touching and sensual or erotic massage practices, to help encourage arousal to spread over the body.
How to help cure premature ejaculation at home
While there are various medicines and treatments for PE, such as medications and numbing creams, your lifestyle habits can also have a huge impact on improving your PE. Here are some home remedies for premature ejaculation:
While there’s no real scientific evidence to suggest that masturbation helps sexual performance, pre-sex masturbation (typically an hour or two before) may help delay ejaculation during sexual intercourse. Masturbation can desensitise your reflex to ejaculate and is a good way to practice lasting longer during sexual intercourse.
There have been many health benefits linked to sex, including specific sexual techniques that you can do to help delay ejaculation during sexual intercourse (or self-masturbation). Here are the two most common:
- Pause-squeeze technique – This is perfect for letting arousal dwindle before climax. When you feel you’re about to ejaculate, stop and have your partner squeeze your penis where the head joins the shaft for several seconds or until you no longer want to climax. Repeat this process as much as you need to during sexual activity. Eventually, you may be able to delay ejaculation naturally and without this technique
- Stop-start technique – Also referred to as orgasm control or “edging”, the stop-start technique can prevent you from climaxing by stopping sexual pleasure. When you feel you’re about to ejaculate, immediately stop sexual activity. Once you feel less aroused, start sexual activity again. Repeat this process as much as necessary to help you control ejaculation
When it comes to sexual activity, there are some things that can make your body explode easily or help prolong an orgasm to enjoy longer-lasting sex. If you’re looking to extend your love-making session, experiment with new sex positions.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
A 2014 study proved that strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can influence how long it takes for you to climax. Doing pelvic floor exercises can help men suffering from lifelong premature ejaculation control their ejaculatory reflex, with 82.5% of patients from the study showing it’s a viable treatment option for PE. Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around your penis. To perform pelvic floor exercises:
- Find your pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine mid-stream or tightening the muscles that prevent you from passing gas
- While laying down or sitting up comfortably, contract or squeeze your pelvic floor muscles 10-15 times
- When you get used to these exercises and your muscles become stronger, you can start adding more squeezes. Hold your squeeze for a few seconds before releasing. To build more strength, you can even try new positions, such as standing or walking
- Always make sure you are breathing and only focus on your pelvic floor muscles. Remember not to tighten your stomach, buttocks and thigh muscles
Note: Do not overdo your pelvic floor exercises and remember to take breaks in between sets of squeezes.
As well as pelvic floor exercises, there are many benefits of yoga for sex that provide more power in your pelvic region, which could help with PE.
While food doesn’t directly resolve premature ejaculation, it influences your overall health, including boosting your sex drive. According to OB-GYN Michael Krychman, the Mediterranean diet is scientifically proven to strengthen your sex drive. So, any improved sexual dysfunction that the diet offers is likely due to its ties to overall health. Also, according to research, foods that are high in zinc and magnesium play a huge role in male sexual health. Zinc can affect testosterone levels in men, and men with PE have been shown to possess less magnesium in their semen. Here are some foods that can increase your intake of both minerals, which may help you delay your climax:
- Nuts, particularly almonds and cashews
- Pumpkin and sesame seeds
- Beef, lamb and veal liver
- dark chocolate
- soya beans, lima beans, and green beans
- shellfish, particularly cooked oysters
- fortified cereals, although not those with high sugar levels
Climax delay condoms
For some men, condoms in general decrease sexual sensitivity and can prevent them from ejaculating early. However, to continue to practice safe sex while helping your PE, there are condoms that are specifically made to help with climax control that either have a thicker latex material or contain a numbing agent to help delay climax. This can be a quick and temporary solution to your PE issues while you address them in the meantime.
Getting help for your premature ejaculation
Do you have or think you have PE? If it’s causing you persistent stress, the good news is that PE is generally a treatable condition. This will depend on the cause of your PE. In some cases, it may be more challenging to treat, such as PE caused by psychological conditions in comparison to physical conditions where your GP can provide treatment options.
However, self-help techniques such as adopting a Mediterranean diet, sexual techniques that delay ejaculation, and avoiding recreational drugs are just some of the things you can do to improve your PE.
Despite the average time for ejaculation, remember that it’s for you and your partner to decide if you’re happy with the time it takes you to ejaculate.
You may be surprised to hear that in heterosexual relationships, most women are not concerned about PE. A study revealed that men worry about PE more than their partners, with most women reporting no impact on relationship satisfaction from a partner’s PE.
If your PE happens infrequently, it’s not a cause for concern. However, if PE is an ongoing battle for you, we recommend seeking extra support and advice. Make an appointment with your doctor to identify the cause of your ejaculations issues and get the appropriate treatment you need.