Premature Ejaculation: Causes, Effects, and Treatment Options

Premature Ejaculation - Diet and exercises

Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual dysfunction that affects a significant number of men worldwide. It is characterized by the uncontrollable ejaculation that occurs shortly after or even before sexual penetration, leading to dissatisfaction and frustration for both partners. Unlike erectile dysfunction, which involves difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection, premature ejaculation revolves around the inability to delay ejaculation long enough to satisfy sexual partners. It’s important to differentiate premature ejaculation from occasional instances of rapid ejaculation, which can happen to most men at some point in their lives and may not necessarily indicate a medical concern.

It’s essential to note that premature ejaculation can manifest differently for each individual, and the severity of symptoms may vary. Premature ejaculation is often categorized into two types: lifelong (primary) premature ejaculation and acquired (secondary) premature ejaculation. Lifelong premature ejaculation occurs from the first sexual encounter and persists throughout a person’s life, while acquired premature ejaculation develops after a period of normal sexual functioning and is often attributed to psychological or situational factors.

Also Read: Delayed Ejaculation – Causes & Treatment

Premature ejaculation can have significant effects on both individuals and their partners, impacting various aspects of their physical and emotional well-being. It can impact relationships negatively and also lower one’s self-esteem. It also causes emotional distress and psychological repercussions including anxiety, stress, and depression. PE can also lead to avoidance behaviours related to sexual intimacy to cope with their condition in fear of embarrassment. Despite its prevalence, premature ejaculation remains a topic that many individuals feel uncomfortable discussing openly. However, understanding and addressing this issue is essential for individuals and couples to lead fulfilling sexual lives.

How does a Healthy Erection happen?

An erection is a physiological process that involves a complex interaction between the nervous system, blood vessels, hormones, and muscles.

  1. Brain Stimulation: Sexual arousal begins in the brain when a person experiences sexual thoughts, fantasies, or physical stimulation. These stimuli trigger the release of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in activating the sexual response.
  2. Nerve Signals: Once aroused, the brain sends signals through the nervous system to the arteries and muscles in the penis. These signals stimulate the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes the smooth muscle tissue in the walls of the penile arteries.
  3. Increased Blood Flow: As the smooth muscles relax, the arteries in the penis dilate, allowing more blood to flow into the erectile tissue known as the corpus cavernosum. The increased blood flow fills the spongy tissue of the corpus cavernosum, causing the penis to become engorged and expand, resulting in an erection.
  4. Pressure Build-Up: As blood fills the erectile tissue, the pressure inside the penis increases, compressing the veins that normally drain blood from the penis. This compression prevents blood from leaving the penis, helping to maintain the erection.
  5. Erection Maintenance: Once an erection is achieved, it is typically maintained through a combination of continued sexual stimulation and the release of hormones, such as oxytocin and adrenaline, which help sustain blood flow to the penis.
  6. Erection Resolution: After ejaculation or when sexual arousal diminishes, the nervous system releases other neurotransmitters that cause the smooth muscles in the penis to contract. This contraction reduces blood flow to the penis and allows the blood trapped in the erectile tissue to drain, resulting in the loss of erection.

Also Read: How does erection occur?

Causes of Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can stem from a variety of biological, psychological, and lifestyle factors, which may contribute to the condition either individually or in combination. Biological factors play a significant role in the development of premature ejaculation. Genetic predispositions and hormonal imbalances, including low levels of serotonin, dopamine, or testosterone, can impact ejaculatory control. Serotonin, in particular, plays a crucial role in delaying ejaculation, and dysregulation of neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin, may contribute to premature ejaculation. These biological factors influence the complex interplay of neural circuits involved in the ejaculatory process.

Psychological factors also play a significant role in the occurrence of premature ejaculation. Performance anxiety, stemming from fear of sexual performance or concerns about satisfying a partner, can elevate arousal levels and contribute to premature ejaculation. Additionally, stressors related to relationships, conflicts within partnerships, or unresolved emotional issues can negatively affect sexual functioning, further exacerbating premature ejaculation. Past traumatic experiences, such as sexual trauma, abuse, or negative sexual encounters, can contribute to heightened anxiety and disrupt ejaculatory control.

Lifestyle factors also play a significant role in the development of premature ejaculation. Excessive consumption of alcohol, illicit drugs, or tobacco can disrupt neurotransmitter function and impair sexual performance, potentially contributing to premature ejaculation. Moreover, unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as a diet high in processed foods and low in nutrients, coupled with sedentary behaviour, can have detrimental effects on overall health and sexual function, further exacerbating premature ejaculation.

Additionally, certain medications prescribed for erectile dysfunction, such as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra), may inadvertently affect ejaculatory control in some individuals. Understanding and addressing a combination of the above-mentioned biological, psychological and lifestyle factors is important in managing premature ejaculation effectively.

Diagnosis & Treatment of Premature Ejaculation

Diagnosing premature ejaculation involves a comprehensive evaluation by our doctors, typically a urologist or andrologist. During the initial consultation, the healthcare provider will inquire about the individual’s sexual history, including the frequency and duration of premature ejaculation episodes, any underlying medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle factors that may contribute to the condition. Open and honest communication about sexual concerns and experiences is crucial for an accurate diagnosis.

Premature ejaculation is typically diagnosed based on specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) or the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). These criteria often include consistent ejaculation that occurs within approximately one minute of penetration or even before penetration, accompanied by an inability to delay ejaculation and feelings of distress or frustration related to the condition.

Treatment for premature ejaculation typically involves a combination of behavioural techniques, counselling or therapy, medications, and lifestyle modifications. The goal of treatment is to improve ejaculatory control, enhance sexual satisfaction, and alleviate distress associated with the condition

Also Read: Erectile Dysfunction & Management

Behavioural Techniques:

  • Start-Stop Technique: This technique involves stimulating the penis until the individual feels close to ejaculation, then stopping stimulation until the urge to ejaculate subsides. This process is repeated several times before allowing ejaculation, helping to increase awareness of arousal levels and prolonging the time to ejaculation.
  • Squeeze Technique: Similar to the start-stop technique, the squeeze technique involves applying pressure to the base of the penis just before ejaculation to temporarily reduce arousal and delay ejaculation.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels): Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles through exercises known as Kegels may help improve ejaculatory control and delay ejaculation.

Counselling and Therapy:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs related to premature ejaculation, helping individuals develop coping strategies and improve self-esteem.
  • Sex Therapy: Sex therapy involves exploring sexual concerns and difficulties in a supportive and non-judgmental environment, often incorporating techniques to improve communication, intimacy, and sexual functioning within relationships.


  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs, commonly used to treat depression and anxiety, have been found to delay ejaculation and increase ejaculatory latency in some individuals. They are often prescribed off-label for the treatment of premature ejaculation.
  • Topical Anesthetics: Topical anesthetics, such as lidocaine or prilocaine creams, can temporarily reduce penile sensitivity and delay ejaculation when applied to the penis before sexual activity.
  • Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) Inhibitors: While primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction, PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra) may also have a secondary effect of prolonging ejaculatory latency in some individuals.

Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Healthy Diet and Exercise: Adopting a balanced diet rich in nutrients and engaging in regular physical activity can improve overall health and potentially enhance sexual function.
  • Stress Management: Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help reduce stress levels and improve ejaculatory control.
  • Limiting Substance Use: Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, illicit drugs, and tobacco can help optimize sexual health and functioning.

How can we help you in managing Premature Ejaculation?

SOLVEMyHealth offers a comprehensive approach to helping clients manage premature ejaculation (PE) by leveraging its diverse team of experts, including doctors, sex therapists, counsellors, and lifestyle specialists. Through a multidisciplinary approach, SOLVEMyHealth addresses the various factors contributing to PE, such as biological, psychological, and lifestyle factors. Our medical professionals can assess the individual’s medical history, conduct examinations, and prescribe appropriate medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or topical anesthetics, to address physiological aspects of PE.

Meanwhile, our sex therapists and counsellors provide personalized therapy sessions to explore and address underlying psychological factors contributing to PE, such as performance anxiety or relationship issues. Additionally, our lifestyle experts offer guidance on dietary changes, exercise routines, stress management techniques, and sleep hygiene practices to optimize overall health and improve ejaculatory control. By combining medical management, therapy, diet, and exercises, SOLVEMyHealth empowers clients to effectively manage PE and enhance their sexual satisfaction and overall well-being.



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