KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — In most things in life, reaching the climax early can be advantageous.

But that certainly isn’t the case in sex life.

Sexual disorders such as premature ejaculation (PE) are relatively common among men, which could lead to sexual dissatisfaction or even a relationship break up.

According to sexologist and sexual health practitioner Dr Rachael Winston, PE is a condition where ejaculation occurs sooner than a man or his partner would expect during sexual intercourse.

“It may occur less than a minute after sexual intercourse.”

Citing several studies, Dr Winston said the exact cause for the condition is still unknown but, it was shown that it may be related to low circulating levels of certain hormones like serotonin or testosterone.

“High levels of serotonin in the brain can increase ejaculation time and low levels of it will lead to PE, which in most cases is temporary.”

However, Dr Winston said, PE is usually related to a more psychological and biological point instead.

“Emotional factors include stress, depression, anxiety, guilt, having relationship problems, lack of confidence or poor body image, concern over their sexual performance and negative feelings about the idea of sex.

“Biological factors that may contribute to premature ejaculation include having abnormal hormone levels, inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra, or having inherited traits from their parents,” she said.

The condition, according to her, can also be triggered by anxiety among “inexperienced” men who don’t know how to control their sexual urge.

“It may lead to short intravaginal ejaculatory latency time where a man ejaculates after a few thrusts.

“Such a situation may trigger feelings of remorse in the female partner, leaving her to assume that the male partner is behaving selfishly and that she is merely a vehicle of his sexual pleasure.”

When a man has PE, Dr Winston said sexual intercourse is increasingly determined by time and not satisfaction, leading to distress and frustration for the woman.

“This also may make the woman to avoid sexual contact due to the fear of rejection and lack of consideration for her sexual needs.”

Referring to recent studies, Dr Winston said it was found that about 25 per cent of the women had experienced a relationship break up in the past as a result of unaddressed sexual problems like PE.

“In addition to reduced sexual satisfaction, PE can also have emotional consequences such as distress and dissatisfaction with the overall relationship, not only for men but also their partners,” she said.

Who is prone to PE?

According to Dr Winston, PE is often a temporary issue affecting men aged between 20 and 60.

“For the younger age group, it is usually related to a psychological standpoint and can be resolved as they gain more experience (in performing sexual intercourse).

“But for the much older generation, it’s usually accompanied by other sexual disorders like erectile dysfunction or inflammation of the prostate.”

What to do?

Dr Winston said although PE is a temporary condition, it’s advisable to seek medical attention if it is affecting one’s sexual pleasure.

“Premature ejaculation can be treated with certain treatment options which include behavioural techniques such as masturbating one to two hours before intercourse to help prolong the sexual intercourse.

“Usage of certain condoms that help decrease penis sensitivity such as ‘climax control’ condoms can also help delay ejaculation.”

Alternatively, Dr Winston said applying anaesthetic creams and sprays to the penis 10 to 15 minutes before sex may help reduce sensations and eventually delay ejaculation.

“Oral medications which are used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as sildenafil (Viagra) may also be helpful.”

Lastly, Dr Winston said the counselling approach usually involves having to address individual and couples’ relationships and experiences.

“This can help in reducing performance anxiety, which helps men have much better ways of coping with stress.”