Skip to main content
Avg ER Wait
Checking ER Wait Time
The feed could not be reached
Cartersville Medical Center

Premature Ejaculation


Ejaculation occurs when a man reaches sexual climax and semen is ejected from his penis. Premature ejaculation is:

  • Ejaculation before the man wishes it to occur
  • Ejaculation too quickly to sexually satisfy his partner


Many men experience premature ejaculation at one time or another. For example, some men experience it after not having had sex for a long period of time. Premature ejaculation is only a problem when it becomes a persistent condition.

Ejaculation occurs automatically after a certain degree of sexual stimulation. Persistent premature ejaculation usually results from a man's inability to recognize that he is about to ejaculate. This inability prevents him from taking steps to delay the process.

Psychological factors may contribute to premature ejaculation. This may include difficulty in the relationship with a partner, guilt about sex, or fears related to sex.

In rare cases, premature ejaculation can be caused by:

  • Prostate problems, such as prostatitis
  • A problem with the nerves
  • Medications that increase sexual stimulation
  • Certain medical conditions (such as thyroid problems)
The Prostate
Anatomy of the Prostate Gland
© 2011 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of premature ejaculation include:

  • Lack of sexual experience
  • Lack of knowledge of male and female sexual responses
  • Fear of:
    • Causing pregnancy
    • Contracting a sexually transmitted disease
    • Poor sexual performance
  • Guilt about sex
  • Interpersonal problems between sexual partners
  • Early sexual experiences that precondition a man to rapid ejaculation, usually from fear of being caught


The primary symptom is persistent episodes of premature ejaculation during sex.


Most men experiencing premature ejaculation will notice the condition themselves. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

The doctor may search for an underlying medical cause if:

  • You suddenly developed persistent premature ejaculation and have never experienced it before
  • You have other neurological symptoms
  • You are taking medication that may cause premature ejaculation
  • The condition is getting much worse or causing severe problems for you


Treatments may include:

Behavior Therapy

This aims to improve your ability to:

  • Recognize when you are about to ejaculate
  • Take steps to delay it

It may include:

  • Biofeedback—electrical feedback that helps you learn to control the muscles that cause ejaculation
  • Start and stop method—stopping sexual stimulation for 30 seconds when nearing climax, then resuming
  • Squeeze method—same as start and stop method, but includes gently squeezing the base of penis before the 30-second stop period
  • Sexual positions—trying different sexual positions that may allow greater control over the muscles that cause ejaculation

Psychological Counseling

Counseling may be offered for an individual or for a couple. It is aimed at identifying and treating:

  • Fears or guilt
  • Interpersonal problems with your partner that may contribute to the condition


In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a desensitizing cream. It can be applied to the penis to lessen sexual stimulation.

In other cases, a doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. Some antidepressants have been found to prolong the interval from intromission to ejaculation. However, these drugs do not cure the underlying cause of premature ejaculation.


To help reduce your chance of premature ejaculation:

  • Learn how male and female sexual responses work
  • Improve communication with your partner before engaging in sexual activity
  • Have sex in situations that are private and relaxed

Revision Information

  • Urology Care Foundation

  • Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians

  • Health Canada

  • Sex Information and Education Council of Canada

  • Montague DK, Jarow J, et al. AUA guideline on the pharmacologic management of premature ejaculation. J Urol 2004; 172:290-294.

  • Premature ejaculation. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: Updated April 2014. Accessed September 1, 2015.

  • Premature ejaculation. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: Accessed September 1, 2015.

  • Premature ejaculation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 17, 2015. Accessed September 1, 2015.

  • Pryor JL, Althof SE, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of dapoxetine in treatment of premature ejaculation: an integrated analysis of two double-blind, randomised controlled trials. Lancet 2006; 368:929-927.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Cartersville Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.