Premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most common sexual disorders in men and occurs when you climax too quickly during sex. This can be extremely frustrating for men and can have a negative impact on sexual relationships.
As many as 1 in 5 men suffer from PE at some point in their life, according to Harvard Health. There is good news, though. Many men with PE achieve better performance through behavioral techniques, medication, counseling and other forms of treatment.
The squeeze technique entails stimulating your penis until you are about to climax. Right before that point, you (or a partner) squeeze the head of the penis for about 20 seconds, so the climaxing sensation diminishes. Repeat this several times before you ejaculate.
When you're having sex and feel like you're getting close to ejaculation, pull out and relax so you don't ejaculate. With the stop-start method, you can train yourself to prolong sex and delay ejaculation. It may take some practice, though, and it doesn't work for everyone.
You can decrease the sensation of sex by using thicker condoms or topical creams that desensitize the penis. These medications act as an anesthetic and can also be found in gel or spray formulations, such as lidocaine and benzocaine.
Thinking of something unrelated—such as work or a football game—as you have sex might help delay your ejaculation. However, this technique is not ideal because it takes your mind off enjoying sex, which tends to be best when you stay present.
Pelvic floor exercises
If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, it could impact your ability to keep from ejaculating. Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegel exercises, can strengthen the muscles that surround and support the genitals. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can assist the penis in maintaining an erection and address the issues that cause PE.
Masturbating one to two hours prior to sex may allow you to last longer in bed. During masturbation, pay close attention to the feeling you have right before ejaculation. The aim is to control this sensation, known as the "point of no return," and its reflex by stopping right before you come. Training yourself to back off, take deep breaths and calm down will help you gain better control over when you ejaculate.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are commonly used as antidepressants, can have a side effect of delayed ejaculation. Dapoxetine is a type of SSRI designed to treat PE.
Some men with PE benefit from phosphodiesterase inhibitors, including sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis). These drugs can be used in combination with an SSRI or by themselves.
A psychiatrist or psychologist can help you work through any psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression, that may be causing your premature ejaculation.
What's the outlook?
Keep in mind that many men suffer from PE and other sexual dysfunctions, so don't blame yourself. Open and honest communication with your partner is key to working through this issue.
Even though medication isn't always the answer to premature ejaculation, talk with your doctor if you regularly ejaculate too soon. If PE is causing problems in your sex life, a sex therapist and behavioral therapy may be good options to explore.