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Updated 01 October 2013

The causes of premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation can be caused by physical or psychological factors, or a combination of both, says a sexologist.

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PE is simply defined as “ejaculation occurring before the individual wishes it”. The condition can be temporary - and normal – in inexperienced men, adolescents and men who are too highly excited or who have abstained from sex for a long time.

The Hite report on Male Sexuality surveyed over seven thousand men and found that 21% ejaculated within 50 – 60 seconds and another 62% ejaculated within 1 – 5 minutes. Only 1 in 6 men lasted over 5 minutes and 1 in 10 over 10 minutes. There is no difference between nations and races and no difference between circumcised and those men with foreskins.

Most men will last longer if they have sex again a little while later, but it can take a man anything from several minutes to several hours to get another erection. In books and movies the male heroes have sex for hours on end, but in real life such men are the minority.

Causes of PE

PE can be caused by physical or psychological factors, or a combination of both.

Physical causes of PE

Through the years many physical causes were linked to PE. However, there are very few medical reasons that have been documented as causing PE.

In the early 1990’s, research indicated that the pelvic muscles, specifically the muscles that surround the erectile bodies in the penis, are in a hyperactive state in men with PE.

Further, it is known that during the ejaculation process there is increased activity of these same muscle groups. Consequently, it is likely that men who have PE have hyperactive muscles that are already on their way toward the threshold to producing ejaculations.

Recent studies have also shown, that infection of the prostate can also cause PE.

Psychological causes of PE

For the majority of men with PE, the origin is psychological. It may stem from a first sexual experience, where there is an enormous amount of pressure to perform and PE occurs. This can cause a feeling of inadequacy that can manifest again as performance anxiety and cause the problem to escalate. This may result in years of feeling inadequate and frustrated. Some men go through their whole lives never really experiencing control of their ejaculation. 

(Picture: unhappy couple from Shutterstock)


 
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