“Dear Doctor, I want to let you know that you are a God-send right on time before I lose my life.
Doctor, a year ago, I decided to break my virginity with the one woman I love most; the truth is I can’t sustain an erection for two minutes. Besides my erection is weak and I ejaculate in less than a minute.
I was advised by one of my friends to use pills when i want to meet a woman, for a year now i have on pills like penagra which provided some relief though am still not comfortable with life.
I really feel like taking my life away because am useless and feel very inadequate. However, after reading your articles i thought of first contacting you for help.
Now my question is, is there really treatment for such a condition ‘premature ejaculation?’ If it’s there, can I normalize and be perfect without the influence of the pills or else am now addicted to pills? Please doctor, help me.” read an email from Jimmy.
The African society, for some reason has decided to remain silent about sexual problems because it is culturally and socially unacceptable to discuss them and whoever does so, (including myself) will be labeled as a deviant from the norm.
However, we all know that sexuality is an important aspect of our lives and many people have contemplated self-harm through alcohol and other drugs of abuse, suicide all because they cannot find help.
Irrespective of who we are and what status we hold in society, a deficiency in sexual performance – (especially among men) leads to underperformance in many other areas of life including work and has a great impact on the quality of our relationships.
What is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is a condition in which a man ejaculates earlier than he or his partner would like him to.
Jimmy’s email was just one of the many distressing emails and calls I got regarding premature ejaculation problems.
There is really no minimum cut-off to define “premature,” but a consensus of experts at the International Society for Sexual Medicine endorsed a definition including “ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute.”
This problem is more common that we think; and the good news is that, it is MANAGEABLE and can be CONTROLLED!!! Men have always been known to desire immediate solutions to problems; however, the ability to control ejaculation requires a lot of patience, determination and practice.
Sometimes, premature ejaculation could be the beginning of erectile dysfunction. Men who learn the technique of controlling ejaculation rarely progress to erectile dysfunction.
How often does it occur?
According to a U.S National Health and Social Life Survey, whereas low sex desire is the commonest sexual problem among women, premature ejaculation is the commonest sexual problem among men.
Research carried out by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction documented that“75% of men ejaculated within two minutes of penetration”.
Another survey of Canadian and American sex therapists states that “the average time for ejaculation was 7 minutes, and that 1 to 2 minutes was too short, 3 to 7 minutes was adequate and 7 to 13 minutes desirable, while 10 to 30 minutes was too long”
What causes Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation affects most men at some point in their lives and is influenced by many factors. Many falsehoods have been used to explain the occurrence and management of premature ejaculation.
At one point, premature ejaculation was thought to be a purely psychological problem, but studies have shown that the causes are a complexity of biological and psychological factors.
In most cases, the exact cause of premature ejaculation is not known. However, many men with premature ejaculation have an oversensitive penis head and thus require little stimulation to reach climax.
Past sexual experiences have been found to contribute to later experiences in life. If one experienced a situations of hurried intercourse in order to reach climax before getting caught (masturbation inclusive), this could lead to premature ejaculation. Guilty feelings about a past experience could also be a cause.
Men with an underlying problem of erectile dysfunction are on many occasions very anxious about either obtaining or maintaining an erection. This may ultimately result in a rush to ejaculate which may end up in a pattern that could be difficult to change or break.
Relationship problems especially involving sexual performance of either of the partners could cause the man to premature ejaculation. With a recent trend of ‘side dishes’, men find themselves “just” obliged to fulfill their marital duties and such instances where the man is not really into the mood may lead to premature ejaculation.
Men with anxiety problems, whether generally in life (always panicking and anxious about every situation…exams, interviews, etc) or anxious about sexual performance (maybe it is his first time to have sex, has had an incident in his past or is just overwhelmed and overtaken by the fact that the woman has finally given in) can get premature ejaculation.
Several biological causes of premature ejaculation have also been identified. Premature ejaculation has been associated with hereditary traits. A study conducted by Mayo clinic revealed that men with a close family relative that has/had long term premature ejaculation are at risk of lifelong premature ejaculation.
Other factors include:
• Abnormal testosterone levels – the hormone that regulates sex drive in men and development of secondary sex characteristics
• Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra (the track that carries urine and semen in men)
• Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters –these are brain chemicals called which control ejaculation at the level of the brain
• Abnormal functionality of the ejaculatory system
• Patients with some types of thyroid illnesses
What can one do to control when they ejaculate?
There are many easy ways (though requiring patience) that men with premature ejaculation can use to control how long they go before ejaculation. It can be as simple as wearing a condom or stretching to medical interventions.
Wearing a condom sounds too simple to be true. Wearing thick condoms reduces the amount of stimulation and can last longer. Some condoms have a gel that can cause numbing to the head of the penis and increase the threshold of ejaculation.
Applying strategic pressure during intercourse, just at the point when you feel like ejaculating could help delay ejaculation.Pressing on a spot midway between your scrotum and anus, with an aim of causing a delay in the prostate reaction during ejaculation will stop the ejaculation.
This is also known as perineum pressure. Also applying a testes tug which is gently pulling the testes down and away from the body can stop the ejaculation. Your partner could do both of these for you.
There are many techniques that can be used on top of these.Stop and start method where one completely withdraws for about 30 seconds and squeeze method where the man or his partner squeezes the intersection between the head of the penis and the rest of the organ for about 30 seconds while withholding further stimulation will stop the ejaculation process.
Slowing down the rate of thrusting or changing position (some positions apply less pressure to the head of the penis). Kegel exercises which involve period contraction of a certain group of muscles in the pelvis (women do a lot of these after birth) can help in the long term. You can be trained on these and men ultimately get used to them.
Finally, as always if symptoms persist, you may be put on medications to act at different levels of your system that control the process of ejaculation starting in the brain.
Do not suffer in silence with premature ejaculation to the extent of contemplating suicide like Jimmy. It is the commonest and one of the easiest male sexual disorders to treat.
Dr. Phionah Atuhebwecan be reached on: [email protected]