At London Doctors Clinic, there is no topic too 'embarrassing' to discuss with our doctors. Our private GP's are here to help with a huge range of medical conditions, from tonsillitis to premature ejaculation, and everything else in between. You may be surprised how easily such conditions can be managed, after you take the first step and speak to a doctor...
What Is Ejaculation?
If you're reading this article, you probably know what ejaculation is: when semen is released from the tip of the penis during a male orgasm.
Many men have problems with ejaculation. In fact, ejaculation problems are thought to affect 20-30% of men during their lives - and this figure may even be higher with many men suffering in silence due to embarrassment.
There are several different types of problems with ejaculation, but in this article we will discuss premature ejaculation, as this is the most common type. Premature ejaculation occurs when a man experiences orgasm and expels semen with minimal stimulation.
It is difficult to define what 'premature' means, as all men (and couples) are different, and there are many factors (such as time pressure or degree of sexual stimulation) that affect the time it takes for a man to ejaculate.
Causes of Premature Ejaculation
Lifelong premature ejaculation (a problem with ejaculation since youth) can often have a psychological component, such as:
- Self-conditioning: teaching oneself to ejaculate quickly
- Traumatic sexual experiences: a bad experience at an early age can result in anxiety around sexual behaviour, and premature ejaculation
- Upbringing: men who have been brought up with negative beliefs around sexuality and intercourse may suffer from sexual problems later in life, premature ejaculation being one of them
Acquired premature ejaculation (a new onset problem with ejaculation) can be caused by both physical and psychological problems. Take a look at the list below:
- Prostate problems
- High blood pressure
- Multiple sclerosis
- Overuse of alcohol or recreational drug use
- Psychological problems:
- General anxiety
- Performance anxiety
Premature Ejaculation Symptoms
The defining symptom of premature ejaculation is the inability to control and delay ejaculation for as long as both partners would like. Some sources give more specific definitions, however, such as 'Ejaculation within one minute of vaginal penetration'.
Depending on the type of ejaculation problem (see above for our classification), the condition may have developed more recently, or may have always been with you.
Premature ejaculation is the inability to control and delay ejaculation for as long as both partners would like
Diagnosing Premature Ejaculation
Ejaculation problems can be a big source of distress for a man, and many men delay seeking treatment due to feelings of shame or embarrassment.
Should you be experiencing premature ejaculation, once you have recognised the issue, the next step is to book an appointment at your GP surgery. Trust us when we say, that our GP's are very used to dealing with this sensitive issue, and are a great source of assistance, advice and support.
Your GP will want to know about your symptoms of premature ejaculation, and how they are affecting your life. You will be asked about any underlying health problems that may be contributing to the condition (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease). Your Doctor will ask about your sexual health, as well as mental health, to potentially uncover a psychological cause for the condition that you hadn't realised yourself. GP's are especially trained in asking such sensitive questions, and it is good to answer as honestly as you can.
Your GP may recommend to have an examination of the genitals, and a prostate exam. These exams might feel a little embarrassing, but they won’t be painful, and are important to check your health and get you diagnosed, so that you can begin treatment.
You may also have blood tests to check your hormone and cholesterol levels, and a urine sample will be taken.
Treatment of Premature Ejaculation
There are many different ways in which premature ejaculation can be successfully managed. If the condition is affecting you, we strongly recommend discussing the treatment options below with a doctor.
1. Tackle The Cause
If a man suffers from premature ejaculation problems with a physical cause, the key to tackling the issue is to get the primary problem under control. Depending on the cause, treatment options should be discussed with your GP.
2. Psychological Treatment
Premature ejaculation with a psychological cause can be harder to treat, but if a man is committed to undergoing treatment, and perseveres, he can experience good results. Sex therapy uses a combination of psychotherapy and structured changes in the sex life, and this can help to reduce anxiety (and increase enjoyment) around sexual intercourse.
Individual therapy may be of benefit to a man suffering from this condition, but couples therapy may also be useful. This will allow couples to explore issues affecting their relationship, but also allow them to learn techniques to delay ejaculation.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are primarily designed to treat depression, but they also have the useful side effect of delaying ejaculation. Although SSRIs are not licensed to treat premature ejaculation, they are increasingly being prescribed for this use.
SSRIs that are sometimes used for this purpose include:
PDE-5 inhibitors are usually used to treat impotence, but can sometimes be used to treat premature ejaculation as well. They increase blood flow to the penis, improving the quality of the erection.
There are also a number of self-help techniques that a man can try before consulting a Doctor. These include:
- Using a thick condom during sex
- Masturbating an hour or two before having sex
- Taking breaks during sex
- Taking a deep breath to briefly shut down the ejaculatory reflex
- An automatic reflex of the body during which ejaculation occurs
Using a thick condom during sex might help with premature ejaculation
So if you're struggling with this condition, know that you're not alone (check out this blog of a man struggling with Premature Ejaculation), and there is a lot of support available. Visit any of our 12 central London private clinics, for a 15-minute GP consultation costing just £59, for the first step in to happier, healthier, more confident sex life! LDC is always here for you if you need to find a GP - whatever the problem.
By Melissa Dillon