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Dr Ashwin Sharma

Article by Dr Ashwin Sharma

How To Delay Ejaculation


Learning how to delay ejaculation is something many people are curious about, whether they’re dealing with premature ejaculation, looking to improve sexual performance or just want to make sex last longer for a more satisfying experience.

In this guide, we’ll explore different methods and techniques to help you gain better control over ejaculation, ultimately leading to more enjoyable and fulfilling experiences for both you and your sexual partner.

What is premature ejaculation?

A common ejaculation concern, PE is simply when a man ejaculates too soon during sexual intercourse. Premature ejaculation is defined by international guidelines as ejaculating within one minute of penetration, on a regular basis. What you and your partner consider a satisfactory length of time before ejaculation is entirely personal. If you are experiencing persistent distress because of premature ejaculation, medical treatments are available to help.

Types of premature ejaculation

There are two identified types of premature ejaculation.

The first is primary premature ejaculation. This is used to describe PE in a person that has always experienced this issue.

The other type is secondary premature ejaculation. This is also known as acquired premature ejaculation and is used to describe PE that has developed recently.

Primary premature ejaculation is often attributed to psychological factors, like traumatic sexual experiences in early life. Secondary premature ejaculation can be brought on by a combination of psychological and physical causes. Physical factors may include excessive alcohol consumption, use of recreational drugs like cocaine, and inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), while psychological causes include lack of confidence and performance anxiety.

Are there any medical treatments that help with premature ejaculation?

The good news is yes, there is. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are an option if self-help techniques and interventions haven’t been effective in addressing the issue. SSRIs are primarily used for depression, but one of their side effects is a delay in ejaculation.

Priligy (dapoxetine) is an SSRI medication developed for the treatment of premature ejaculation, which can help you last 3x longer. It’s typically taken “on demand”, with the recommended timing being between one and three hours before sexual activity, and limited to once a day.

If Priligy doesn’t work, a healthcare professional may suggest trying another SSRI off-label. This means recommending a medication for a purpose not approved by the MHRA. Off-label prescribing is done when it’s deemed beneficial for a person’s health.

Other SSRIs, such as paroxetine, sertraline or fluoxetine are commonly prescribed for premature ejaculation. Typically, it takes one or two weeks on these medications to experience their full effects.

Anaesthetic creams and sprays, such as lidocaine or prilocaine cream, are treatment options to help reduce sensitivity in the penis. Using an anaesthetic cream with a condom may be especially effective. Ask your GP to recommend a suitable cream for your needs.

How to stop premature ejaculation naturally

If you’re wondering how to delay ejaculation naturally, or you’re not ready to try a prescription treatment, there are other options you can explore. These include:

Reducing sensation – Using a thick condom can help reduce sensation during sex. Anaesthetic creams and sprays, like lidocaine or prilocaine cream, can also help reduce sensitivity in the penis. Combining the two –using an anaesthetic cream with a condom – can be particularly effective.

Deep breathing – Taking a deep breath can help to temporarily suppress the ejaculatory reflex, which is the automatic body response that causes ejaculation.

Taking breaks – Some people find Interrupting sexual activity with breaks – and shifting focus to unrelated thoughts – an effective way to delay ejaculation.

Experiment with different positions – Some sexual positions with your partner may help you delay ejaculation by providing less stimulation or allowing you to control the pace of sexual activity. Experiment with different positions to see what works best for you.

Therapy – Counselling sessions with your partner will help delve into any mental health issues impacting your sexual health or uncover relationship issues that need addressing. You may also learn some techniques and exercises during couples therapy to help you both overcome premature ejaculation issues you’re facing. 

Preparation method – If and when possible, some people may find that masturbating one to two hours before engaging in sexual activity can help delay ejaculation when with a partner later on.

Next steps – If you’re struggling with premature ejaculation, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional. They’ll help identify any potential underlying causes and recommend treatment options like therapy or medication to help you manage your symptoms.

Remember, premature ejaculation is a common issue. By using these tips and techniques, you can work towards taking back control and enjoying a more satisfying sexual experience again.

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Dr Ashwin Sharma
Dr Ashwin Sharma
Dr Ashwin Sharma is a medical doctor and writer with a particular interest in health technology, artificial intelligence and medical weight loss. He completed his training at the University of Leicester and Imperial College London, and has since been exploring the intersections of medicine, technology, and communication.
Originally published April 02 2024, updated April 03 2024