Hi friends! Sexual performance can play a large role in one’s identity, so when performance does not match expectations, this can be distressing. Premature ejaculation is one condition where performance does not meet an individual’s standards. It is one of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction and affects 16-32% of penis owners (Bo, 2015).
Let’s start by talking about what premature ejaculation is. The World Health Organization states that premature ejaculation is “recurrent ejaculation that occurs with minimal stimulation and earlier than desired, before or soon after penetration, which causes bother or distress, and upon which the sufferer has little or no control.” There are many other definitions for what premature ejaculation really is, but there are typically three main components to each definition: short time to ejaculation, lack of ejaculatory control, and lack of sexual satisfaction.
The average time to ejaculation varies between 7 and 14 minutes (Bo, 2015), but ejaculating before 7 minutes does not mean you have premature ejaculation. The most important factor is that you and your partner are satisfied with your experience. If you ejaculate after 5 minutes of intimacy and both you and your partner are happy, there’s no problem that needs to be addressed!
Sexual function is controlled by many different factors, so there is not a single cause of premature ejaculation. It can be physiological in nature, like neurological conditions, physical illness or injury, or it can even be cause as a side effect of certain medications.
Premature ejaculation can also have psychological causes. You may be in distress about something going on in your life, you may have relationship tension between you and your partner, or you may have psychosexual skills that need to be developed. Regardless of the cause, a sex therapist can be a great resource.
And of course, the pelvic floor muscles play a role in sexual function, and therefore can play a role in premature ejaculation—and treating it. During ejaculation, the pelvic floor muscles contract rhythmically (just like during a female orgasm). Having voluntary control of the pelvic floor muscles can help to delay ejaculation (Bo, 2015). A pelvic floor physical therapist is a great resource for connecting with your pelvic floor muscles and learning how to engage and relax them. We have an in-depth course with Dr. Susie Gronski, DPT, PRPC, WCS on Overcoming Premature Ejaculation. You can also check out her 4 Tips for Premature Ejaculation Below.
Here are some great resources to learn more about the pelvic floor and its role in sexual health:
Ask your healthcare provider for a referral to a pelvic therapist.
Find a pelvic therapist on your own at myPFM.com. We have links to 4 free searchable databases under Find a PT.
Watch our YouTube playlist on Male Bodies and Your Pelvic Floor
Learn more about the pelvic floor muscles with our book: My Pelvic Floor Muscles The Basics
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Treating Premature Ejaculation: Guidance for Health Professionals with Dr. Susie Gronski, PT, DPT, PRPC, WCS
Intro to Male Pelvic Health with Gerard Greene MSc (Manip Physio), MMACP, MCSP, PG Cert HEd
High Intensity PFMT Before and After Prostatecomy Improves Outcomes with Joanne Milios BSC Hons, MCSP, HCPC
Peyronie’s and PT with Joanne Milios BSC Hons, MCSP, HCPC
What experiences or tips do you have that can help others? We’d love to hear them. Please join the conversation in the comments section below.
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT
1. Bo K, Berghmans B, Morkved S, Van Kampen M. Evidenced-based physical therapy for the pelvic floor bridging science and clinical practice. 2nd edition. 2015.