Premature Ejaculation- symptoms, causes & treatment

Premature Ejaculation- symptoms, causes & treatment

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Premature Ejaculation- symptoms, causes & treatment

Authored by Dr Aifric Boylan on 28.02.2017
Medically Reviewed by Dr Richard Bennett
Last updated on 12.06.2019
what is it?


What is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation is when a man ejaculates during sexual intercourse sooner than he or his partner would like. It’s very common- many men experience it now and then. But if it’s happening frequently, and occurs very shortly after intercourse begins, it can be distressing and frustrating- a man may even tend to avoid sexual intimacy as a result of it.  But why does it happen?

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What causes Premature Ejaculation?

The cause of premature ejaculation isn’t fully understood. For a long time it was thought to be purely psychological, but now we know there can be physical factors too. Psychological factors that can play a role include poor self esteem or body image , depression, stress, anxiety, guilt, relationship problems, or a history of early or abusive sexual experiences. If a man is worried about previous premature ejaculation, this can also increase the likelihood of it happening again. And if a man has a history of erectile dysfunction, he may tend to rush things at times, leading to premature ejaculation on other occasions.


There may also be physical causes. Abnormalities of certain hormone levels can be an issue, as well as infection or inflammation of the urethra or prostate gland.

What is the treatment for Premature Ejaculation?

In recent years a medication  has been developed specifically as a treatment for Premature Ejaculation, for men aged 18- 64  years of age. Dapoxetine (Priligy) is chemically similar to an antidepressant, but is faster-acting and leaves the body more quickly. It is taken 1 to 3 hours before intercourse. It appears to be helpful in many, but not all cases. Side effects can occur in a minority of cases- including nausea, headache, diarrhoea, drowsiness and dizziness.

Before considering medication for Premature Ejaculation, it’s important that any underlying causes are also figured out and dealt with -such as stress or relationship problems. If you have any concerns o questions about Premature Ejaculation, speak to your doctor.

Further patient resources

Article resources

Russo et al (2016).Efficacy and safety of Dapoxetine in treatment of premature ejaculation: an evidence‐based review 

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About the Author:

Aifric Boylan
Dr Aifric Boylan is an experienced GP based in Melbourne. She completed medical school at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and undertook specialist training as a General Practitioner. She has 10 years experience working in General Practice and currently works as a full time family doctor in Melbourne, with a special interest in women’s health and paediatrics. She is a medical writer, covering common health issues in General Practice, as well as publications and opinion pieces in the medical press.

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