Signs and symptoms of premature ejaculation (PE)
What is premature ejaculation (PE)?
As many as 20% of men have experienced premature ejaculation at least once in their lifetime.1 As the most common sexual dysfunctional condition befalling men, a lot of interest surrounds premature ejaculation (PE).
Nevertheless, there isn’t a single encompassing definition to describe the condition. The premature ejaculation definition changes quite often. However, at least now it is considered a serious medical condition and not a psychological problem.
Scientists have carried out various studies to examine the condition and come up with definitions that try to do justice to the condition.
However, these premature ejaculation definitions are varied as can be seen with the different criteria laid out by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, International Society of Sexual Medicine, European Association of Urology and the American Urological Association.
All the same, this boils down to one fact. Premature ejaculation is a condition when you reach climax during a sexual act faster than you would like to. This causes some personal distress like a bruised ego and a feeling of diminished masculinity.
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Premature ejaculation (PE): What are the signs and symptoms?
Despite the lack of a medical consensus on the exact clinical definition of premature ejaculation, there are some signs and symptoms that point to potential PE.3
Premature Ejaculation is normal if it is an infrequent occurrence. However, if this occurs frequently, one might have to get checked out for PE by a sexual health doctor.
Here are some of the symptoms and conditions that point to premature ejaculation:
- ejaculation during foreplay or before vaginal penetration is completed
- ejaculation within one minute of penetrating the vagina since one’s first act of intercourse
- significant reduction in the intravaginal ejaculation latency time to about 3 minutes or less
- unable to stop or delay ejaculations whenever there is vaginal penetration
If any of these holds, there’s bound to be some psychological implications on the man, including:
- bruised ego
- avoidance of sexual encounters
- personal distress
- Inability to conceive a child
What are the causes of premature ejaculation?
Many of the causes of premature ejaculation have been attributed to mental and psychological factors associated with anxiety. However, there are other causes that are biogenic.4
These causes of Premature Ejaculation (PE) include:
- Performance anxiety
- Being very arousable
- Limited sexual experience
- Worrying about the PE itself
- Lack of knowledge about the techniques that can prolong intercourse
Some of the causes of Premature Ejaculation (PE) are physical. These include:
- Having high penile sensitivity, where the penis is very responsive to stimulation
- Erectile dysfunction makes one eager to orgasm before the penis becomes flaccid
- Abusing substances like alcohol
- Sometimes the cause is genetic, like the variations in the 5-HTTLPR gene
- Prostatitis, a condition where the prostate gland is swollen
- Diseases of the nervous system like multiple sclerosis
- Chemical and hormonal imbalances
- Testosterone deficiency
How is premature ejaculation diagnosed?
As we have already seen, discussing matters relating to your sexual performance can be quite bruising to your ego if you believe you have premature ejaculation.
However, if you want to solve the problem, you need to be honest when talking to a doctor so that they can correctly diagnose your condition.
The doctor will ask for your history and you should lay it out in its entirety. Even the smallest of seemingly irrelevant details can point to why you’re ejaculating before you want to.
Let’s be clear, having premature ejaculation is nothing to be ashamed of. Not seeking help is.
What can you do about premature ejaculation?
If you believe you have PE, there are various methods that may help you last longer. These methods range from simple things like dietary changes to exercise and control techniques all the way to treatment.
- Alwaal A, Breyer BN, Lue TF. Normal male sexual function: emphasis on orgasm and ejaculation. Fertil Steril. 2015;104(5):1051–1060. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028215018798
- Althof SE, McMahon CG, Waldinger MD, et al. An Update of the International Society of Sexual Medicine’s Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Premature Ejaculation (PE). Sex Med. 2014;2(2):60–90. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S174360951530789X
- El-Hamd MA, Saleh R, Majzoub A. Premature ejaculation: an update on definition and pathophysiology. Asian J Androl. 2019;21(5):425–432. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohammed_Abu_El-Hamd/publication/331624177_Premature_ejaculation_an_update_on_definition_and_pathophysiology/links/5c853b9a92851c69506b12ef/Premature-ejaculation-an-update-on-definition-and-pathophysiology.pdf
- Pastore, A.L., Palleschi, G., Fuschi, A., Maggioni, C., Rago, R., Zucchi, A., Costantini, E. and Carbone, A., 2014. Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong premature ejaculation: a novel therapeutic approach. Therapeutic advances in urology, 6(3), pp.83-88. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003840/
- Omu, A.E., Al-Bader, A.A., Dashti, H. and Oriowo, M.A., 2001. Magnesium in human semen: possible role in premature ejaculation. Archives of andrology, 46(1), pp.59-66. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11204619