The Prevalence of Early Ejaculation
Due to the absence of a standardized definition for premature ejaculation, the estimates concerning the number of men affected by it vary significantly, as indicated by British researchers. Depending on the specific study, the prevalence of premature ejaculation ranges from 30 percent to 83 percent among men, according to their report.
Mayo Clinic defines premature ejaculation as the occurrence of ejaculation sooner than desired during sexual intercourse. If this happens infrequently, it generally isn't a cause for alarm.
A diagnosis of premature ejaculation might be established under the following circumstances:
Consistently ejaculates within 1 to 3 minutes of penetration
Frequently struggles to delay ejaculation during sexual activity
Experiences distress and frustration due to ejaculation timing, leading to avoidance of sexual intimacy
Regular Exercise Might Assist in Delaying Ejaculation
The researchers discovered that incorporating regular physical activity yielded promising outcomes in several of the studies they examined during their research assessment.
For instance, a study involving 105 participants observed that engaging in 30-minute runs five times a week contributed to prolonging latency time (the duration until ejaculation) nearly as effectively as taking dapoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication approved for addressing premature ejaculation outside the United States.
Additionally, two other studies identified notable enhancements in ejaculation delay associated with yoga practice.
Pelvic Floor Exercises Could Also Provide Benefits
Engaging in exercises targeting the pelvic floor muscles demonstrated some positive effects. Men who practiced these exercises experienced an increase in latency time, rising from a median of 1 minute to 3 minutes.
Pelvic floor muscles influence ejaculation, and men who enhance their pelvic muscle control could potentially delay ejaculation by relaxing their perineal muscles, as explained by the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA).
Commonly referred to as Kegel exercises, these pelvic floor workouts can effectively fortify these muscles, according to information from Mayo Clinic.
Limited Medication Options for Premature Ejaculation
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not granted approval for any medications specifically designed for premature ejaculation, healthcare professionals may recommend certain drugs off-label.
Topical anesthetics can reduce sensation and aid in delaying ejaculation. Oral medications, such as antidepressants, pain relievers, and drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction, may also offer assistance in postponing orgasm, according to the American Urological Association.
Smith emphasized, "Considering the potential side effects of medications, it appears that exercise might indeed be the best approach to avoiding premature ejaculation. This notion, however, necessitates more extensive studies and further investigation."
Addressing Erectile Dysfunction May Benefit Premature Ejaculation Treatment
The review encompassed studies that indicated improvements when men with premature ejaculation concurrently received treatment for coexisting erectile dysfunction (ED), notes Dr. Raevti Bole, a urologist at Cleveland Clinic, who was not involved in the research.
"If present, treating ED is an essential initial step," she affirms.
Embracing a Multitude of Treatment Alternatives
Systematic reviews are valuable due to their ability to synthesize the findings from numerous studies, Dr. Bole highlights.
However, even a meticulously conducted systematic review's value hinges on the quality of the studies included, she underscores. Given the varying definitions of premature ejaculation used in the studies within the review, there may be distinct patient groups with varying degrees of the condition.
"The studies included also featured small participant numbers, making it challenging to ascertain whether the results were attributable to the treatment or mere chance," she adds.
Nonetheless, the review underscores the importance of considering multiple approaches for treating premature ejaculation. "Numerous factors contribute to premature ejaculation, encompassing hormones, stress, anxiety, prior sexual experiences, and overall erectile function," she explains.
Since each patient presents unique circumstances, there is no universal treatment. "Medications, exercise, counseling, sex therapy, yoga, pelvic floor rehabilitation, addressing underlying medical conditions — all of these aspects play a role," she notes.
Concerned About Premature Ejaculation? Consult Your Healthcare Provider
Dr. Bole underscores that patients should recognize that many men may harbor concerns about premature ejaculation, and there is no stigma in discussing this matter with their physician.
"Frequently, patients converse with us and realize that their ejaculatory latency falls well within the normal range. They simply lacked an understanding of what 'normal' entails," Dr. Bole observes. "However, if we do identify an issue, we can collaborate to develop a solution."