What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is the name given to a condition where the man ejaculates (or ‘comes’) too quickly during sexual intercourse. It is one of the most common sexual problems for men and affects around 25 to 30% of men at some point in their lives.

(Source: NHS Choices/ejaculation-problems)

It is more common in younger men which can be attributed to a lack of sexual experience and control although this improves over time. Not usually seen in older men but there have been reported cases of middle aged men with this condition.

If you are a middle aged man then unfortunately, you are not immune from this condition but it is unlikely. It tends to affect younger men for the reasons mentioned above.

Excess male hormone production

The production of male sex hormones or ‘androgens’are responsible for sexual arousal, erection and ejaculation, but too much of these can cause problems. An overproduction of these hormones causes a man to become over stimulated and unable to control the urge to ejaculate.

The glans (head) of the penis becomes hypersensitive to the point that ejaculation takes place. The problem is that this happens far too quickly and before either person is ready.

It can occur before and/or during vaginal penetration.

How to define premature ejaculation

One issue with premature ejaculation is that of obtaining an accurate definition. In other words, what is defined as a problem with ejaculation varies from couple to another. What one couple views as ‘normal’another sees as inadequate and a cause for concern.

So we have a problem.

It depends upon how long sexual intercourse lasts for and as we know, this is an individual state. Some couples last longer than others but this does not indicate that there is a problem. It is difficult to state how long sexual intercourse should last before ejaculation and this will always be so.

  • Men with premature ejaculation last around 1.8 minutes compared to an average of 7.3 minutes for ‘normal’ men. (Source: 2006 Congress of the European Society for Sexual Medicine)

However, there are men with premature ejaculation who have lasted for as long as 25 minutes which means that this definition is flexible to say the least.

A good way of approaching this is this: if you and your partner feel that orgasm occurs far too quickly then you may be suffering from premature ejaculation.

Are there any other types of ejaculation problems?

There are two other ejaculation problems which are less well known than premature ejaculation and are:

  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Retarded ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation

This is where semen passes into the bladder instead of exiting the body via the penis. Normally, sperm travel through a tube within the body called the urethra which runs from the bladder to the tip of the penis. It enables urine as well as semen to leave the body.

But in this case semen travels into the bladder.

This will not injure your health but, it does have a negative effect on fertility levels which is a consideration if you and your partner are looking to start a family.

Retarded ejaculation

This is also known as ‘delayed ejaculation’: it is where a man experiences a delay before ejaculation on a regular basis, or is unable to ejaculate at all. This occurs in spite of being able to get and sustain an erection.

It can happen even if you experience a normal level of desire and have enjoyed a healthy sex life to date.

These are less common than premature ejaculation and as a result, are not discussed any further in this guide.

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