Premature Ejaculation (PE) is the most common male sexual complaint and occurs in 20-30% of all men. PE may be lifelong or acquired later in life. While there are many definitions of PE, the International Society for Sexual Medicine defines lifelong PE as ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration, the inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations, and the presence of negative consequences; such as distress, bother, frustration, and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy. There is no known cause of PE but it is felt to be a combination of biological and psychological factors. It is important to recognize that PE is not a disease, mental illness or defect in ones sexuality.
While there is no "cure" for premature ejaculation, there are treatments which do work. The most common and quickest treatment is the use of the SSRI class of medications, known for their use as antidepressants. Because they have a side effect of prolonging ejaculation this is used quite successfully in men with PE by enabling them to "hold off" on ejaculating too quickly. In my experience, most men do attain success with this form of treatment and experience very few side effects. While these medications are used to treat depression, they have no psychological effect on men without depression. They work best when taken every day although they can be used "on demand" (the day of sex) however this is not as effective.
Another form of treatment is the use of topical anesthetic medications applied to the penis to decrease sensation. One such preparation is know as SS cream but is not available in the US. An alternative to this which is available is a combination of Prilocaine and Lidocaine topical anesthetics, which is effective. The only downside is reducing sensation in the partner if it transferred during sex.
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