Ejaculation problems are common sexual problems in men.
The 3 main types of ejaculation problems are:
- premature ejaculation
- delayed ejaculation
- retrograde ejaculation
If you have a persistent problem with ejaculation, visit your GP, or connect with a Doctor on the Dokitari health app who will discuss the
problem with you and may examine you or refer you to a specialist.
Premature ejaculation is the most common ejaculation problem. It's where the male ejaculates
too quickly during sexual intercourse.
A study looking at 500 couples from 5 different countries found the average time taken to
ejaculate during intercourse was around 5-and-a-half minutes. However, it's up to each
couple to decide if they’re happy with the time taken – there's no definition of how long
sex should last.
Occasional episodes of premature ejaculation are common and are not a cause for concern.
However, if you're finding that around half of your attempts at sex result in premature
ejaculation, it might help to get treatment.
Causes of premature ejaculation
Various psychological and physical factors can cause a man to suddenly experience premature
Common physical causes include:
- prostate problems
- thyroid problems – an overactive or underactive thyroid gland
- using recreational drugs
Common psychological causes include:
- relationship problems
- anxiety about sexual performance (particularly at the start of a new relationship,
or when a man has had previous problems with sexual performance)
It's possible, but less common, for a man to have always experienced premature ejaculation since becoming
sexually active. A number of possible causes for this are:
- conditioning – it's possible that early sexual experiences can influence future
sexual behaviour. For example, if a teenager conditions himself to ejaculate quickly to avoid being
caught masturbating, it may later be difficult to break the habit
- a traumatic sexual experience from childhood – this can range from being caught
masturbating to sexual abuse
- a strict upbringing and beliefs about sex
- biological reasons – some men may find their penis is extra sensitive
Treating premature ejaculation
There are a number of things you can try yourself before seeking medical help.
Measures you can try yourself
It can sometimes help to:
- masturbate an hour or 2 before having sex
- use a thick condom to help decrease sensation
- take a deep breath to briefly shut down the ejaculatory reflex (an automatic reflex of the body
during which ejaculation occurs)
- have sex with your partner on top (to allow them to pull away when you are close to ejaculating)
- take breaks during sex and think about something boring
If you're in a long-term relationship, you may benefit from having couples therapy. During these
sessions, the therapist will:
- encourage couples to explore any relationship issues they have, and give them advice about resolving
- show the couple techniques that can help you "unlearn" the habit of premature ejaculation (the 2
most popular techniques are the "squeeze" and "stop-go" techniques)
In the squeeze technique, your partner masturbates you, but stops before the point of ejaculation and
squeezes the head of your penis for between 10 to 20 seconds. They then let go and wait for another 30
seconds before resuming masturbation. This process is carried out several times before ejaculation is
allowed to occur.
The stop-go technique is similar, but your partner does not squeeze your penis. Once you feel more
confident about delaying ejaculation, you and your partner can begin to have sex, stopping and starting as
These techniques may sound simple, but they require lots of practice..
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