According to urologists Andrew McCullough, M.D., director of male sexual health, fertility, and microsurgery at the New York University Medical Center, and James Barada, M.D., of the Albany College of Medicine, premature ejaculation (PE) is the number one sexual-health problem afflicting men, and is three times more common than erectile dysfunction (ED). Between 20 percent to 30 percent of men suffer from PE--although these estimates vary because they are based on self-reported studies.

For some men, it is too embarrassing to admit they have the condition. PE can wreck their confidence and cause them to avoid new relationships. Although many men feel embarrassed to talk about it, premature ejaculation is a common and treatable condition.

What to Do

If you have PE, the problem can be addressed in a number of ways--not just by medication.  Here are some of your options.

  • Talk with your doctor. If you ejaculate sooner than you and your partner wish during most sexual encounters, talk with your doctor. For some men a conversation with your doctor may actually reassure you that your occasional premature ejaculation is normal, or possibly not even premature. According to the Mayo Clinic, the range of normal from the beginning of intercourse to ejaculation is generally considered to be two to 10 minutes.
  • Open communication with your partner. In some cases, premature ejaculation may be caused by poor communication between partners or a lack of understanding of the differences between male and female sexual functioning. For many men, feeling pressure during sexual intercourse increases the risk of premature ejaculation. Open communication between sexual partners, as well as a willingness to try a variety of approaches to help both partners achieve satisfaction, can help reduce conflict and performance anxiety.
  • Psychotherapy. This approach, also known as counseling or talk therapy, involves talking with a mental health provider about your relationships and experiences. These talk sessions can help you reduce performance anxiety or find effective ways of coping with stress and solving problems. For many couples affected by premature ejaculation, talking with a therapist together may produce the best results.
  • Try yoga. According to the Mayo Clinic, a recent study compared the effectiveness of yoga to fluoxetine (Prozac) in the treatment of premature ejaculation. Study results showed that yoga and fluoxetine produced similar improvements in the length of time for which study participants were able to have intercourse before ejaculating, however more research in this area is needed.

Experts agree that both psychological and biological factors can play a role in premature ejaculation. According to Andrew McCullough, ejaculation occurs because of a certain balance between serotonin and dopamine. By taking dapoxetine, a fast-acting SSRI, a man can delay his orgasm. 

While some men are eager to take the drug, others say they've learned to live with their problem, finding that their "dysfunction" has opened them up to a more nuanced view of what constitutes mutually satisfying sex. Remember that for most women, slower sex is better. And when it comes to sex, women are often less "goal-oriented" than men are; in other words, penetration and orgasm isn't everything.

If you take your time you might discover a better level of intimacy with your partner and open the door to coming to terms with PE without needing pills.


Kerner, Ian. "Last Longer in Bed." Men's Health. 16 Mar. 2010.

Mayo Clinic Staff. "Premature Ejaculation." 16 Mar. 2010.

Sohn, A. "Delaying Tactics." New York Magazine. 21 May 2005. 16 Mar.  2010.