Men's health

How to Stop Premature Ejaculation

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Medically approved by Dr Earim Chaudry
Chief Medical Officer
iconLast updated 25th May 2021
In 30 seconds…

Consistently ejaculating sooner than you or your partner would like can be a frustrating and embarrassing experience. It impacts the overall enjoyment of sex, and it can often put a real strain on even the healthiest of relationships.

But premature ejaculation (PE) isn’t something you need to live with.

There are things you can do to stop it in its tracks, last longer in bed, and get back to enjoying a satisfying sex life. From medication and exercise to behavioural therapy and in-the-moment techniques, you can prevent it.

Although there’s no set time for whenscribble-underline a man should ejaculate, if you do so before or less than a minute after you start having sex, you’re probably experiencing premature ejaculation.

It’s a common issue for men, with around 1 in 3 experiencing it at some point in their lives. So, if it happens infrequently, chances are it’s not something to worry about.

However, if you prematurely ejaculate almost every time you try to have sex, it can become a problem. This is because you lose your erection when you ejaculate, and cannot, therefore, continue having sex.

Premature ejaculation can be embarrassing, puts a strain on a relationship, and can lead to dissatisfaction with sex. And pinpointing why it’s happening can be difficult.

What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

The precise cause for why men prematurely ejaculate remains a mystery — but there are a few theories worth exploring: 

  • Brain Chemistry – Men with lower levels of serotonin (the chemical that contributes to happiness and well-being) in their brains tend to take a shorter time to ejaculate.
  • Mental Health – Depression, stress, guilt, relationship problems or performance anxiety may contribute to premature ejaculation.
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – If you suffer from ED, premature ejaculation can sometimes be a problem. This is because men with ED try to rush to ejaculate before losing their erection, and it can be a difficult pattern to break.

Do I Need Medicine to Stop Premature Ejaculation?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one specific medicine designed to stop PE. However, doctors have found that prescribing medications used to treat other things can often help. These include:

  • Anaesthetic sprays and creams: Gently administer on the head of your penis, leave for around 30 minutes, and wash it off. This should make you less sensitive down there, and help sex last longer. But we can’t stress the washing-off part enough! If you don’t, you could cause loss of sensation for your partner too, or lose your erection.
  • Antidepressants: Some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have certain side effects, one of which is delayed orgasm. So, antidepressants could help prevent PE. But, there’s a trade-off. The other side effects can include drowsiness, nausea, and a dampened sexual desire. You should weigh up the pros and cons with your doctor.
  • ED medication: Sildenafil citrate (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil HCI (Levitra) can help you maintain a strong erection, which should remove any anxiety over losing it during sex. This means you can, over time, stop rushing to the finish line. 

How to Treat Premature Ejaculation

The good news is, most of the time at least, you won’t need to take medication to stop PE. Many men have found success using psycho-behavioural techniques to reduce instances of PE and increase their time to orgasm.

One study of men suffering from PE observed significantly improved levels of ejaculation latency and sexual satisfaction following a course of behavioural therapy. The men also demonstrated lower levels of sexual anxiety and nervousness.

Techniques to Prevent Premature Ejaculation in the Moment

Use The “Stop-Start” Method

One of the most effective ways to stop PE is also one of the oldest: The “stop-start” method.

This is exactly what it sounds like. During sex, as you feel ejaculation edging closer, you stop and take a moment to relax and compose yourself, before starting again. 

It might sound simple, but it works. In fact, it’s recommended as the preferred therapy technique for preventing PE by the Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology, and studies have found that 45 to 60 percent of men showed short-term symptomatic benefits. 

It’s a great first option if you’re dealing with PE. You can practice by yourself or with your partner, and it doesn’t involve any costly treatments or medications.

Use The “Squeeze” Method

Another simple at-home technique is the “squeeze” method.

Just like the “stop-start” method, this is what it says on the tin. During sex, as you’re approaching ejaculation, you squeeze gently between the shaft and the glans of your penis to prevent PE.

There will be a bit of trial and error involved to get the duration of squeeze just right — some resources recommend squeezing for around 30-seconds, but everyone’s different, so it may be slightly shorter or longer for you.

Once you’re comfortable with this method, it can help you delay orgasm several times, meaning you can perform for longer.

However, like the “stop-start” method, there are downsides. You need to stop for it to be effective, which can disrupt the enjoyment for both you and your partner. And by squeezing your penis, you’re effectively reducing the intensity of your erection.

Other Methods to Consider:

  • Use a condom: Doing so may reduce sensation, helping you last longer.
  • Masturbate before sex: Some men find that masturbating a few hours before having sex lessens the likelihood of PE.
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor: Kegel exercises aren’t just for women, they’re good for men too — especially when dealing with PE. By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, you can have more control over your erections and your ejaculation. You can locate the muscles by stopping your urine mid-flow. Hold them tight for 3 seconds, then release for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times, and do this exercise at least 3 times a day.
  • Address mental health concerns: If you believe underlying mental health issues like depression, stress, or anxiety are contributing to your PE, seek help from a qualified psychologist or therapist. 
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Cialis (Tadalafil)
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In Summary

You don’t need to live with premature ejaculation. As demonstrated above, there are things you can do to prevent it.
But perhaps the most important element is your ability to communicate with your partner. Be open and willing to explore relationship issues, try these techniques in the bedroom, and come together to overcome PE and, well, come together.


Urology Care Foundation – What is Premature Ejaculation?:


Guo-hong Chen, Shu-qi Song, Ya-qiang Zhang (2009). A clinical study on psycho-behavior therapy for premature ejaculation:


Harvard Men’s Health Watch – Not just for women: Kegel exercises good for men too:scribble-underline


PE help – The Good Side of Premature Ejaculation:

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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