PE was originally thought to be a psychological disorder but is now known to be a medical or physical condition in most cases.
Two thirds of cases are primary (lifelong) and involve a lack of control from the first experience.
One third are secondary (acquired) and start after a period of normal function. Most secondary cases are due to stress, performance anxiety, relationship problems, medical issues (such as diabetes) or erectile dysfunction (impotence).
PE can have a significant impact on a man, his partner and their relationship. It can reduce sexual satisfaction and self-esteem and lead to anxiety. PE itself can also lead to performance anxiety which only makes matters worse.
Treatments for PE
Treatments are used alone or in combination:
1. Behavioural techniques. These include:
a. Stop-start technique. Stop stimulation just before ejaculation. When the feeling has passed, start again and repeat the cycle.
b. Squeeze technique. Squeeze the end of the penis firmly for 10-15 seconds just before ejaculation. This is repeated a number of times.
2. Reducing penile sensation. Local anaesthetic creams and gels and condoms reduce stimulation.
3. Counselling. Can address any underlying psychological, sexual or relationship issues.
4. Medication. Some antidepressants delay ejaculation as a side-effect and are used to treat PE, although this use is not approved by local health authorities. Hopefully, an approved drug therapy for PE will be available in Australia soon as it is in some overseas countries.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask your GP for help. For more info, refer to the Andrology Australia website at www.andrologyaustralia.org or the book Too Fast? Learn to last longer, by Dr M Lowy & B McCann (available at www.longmedia.com.au).
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.