Sexual concerns, including premature ejaculation (PE), are relatively common. Premature ejaculation happens when a man climaxes before he or his partner would have wanted during sex. Men dealing with premature ejaculation tend to orgasm within one minute of being stimulated sexually and are usually unable to delay ejaculation.
The condition affects as many as 1 out of 3 men, and can lead to frustration and anxiety. Some men with premature ejaculation may avoid sex as a result. But there are treatments that can help.
Ayurvedic herbal medicine
Ayurveda is India’s traditional healing system. It relies on thousands of herbs to treat everything from diabetes to inflammation. Certain Ayurvedic medicines, such as kaunch beej, kamini vidrawan ras, and yauvanamrit vati, are thought to treat premature ejaculation when taken in capsule form twice daily with lukewarm water. Ayurvedic medicine has also been used to treat erectile dysfunction.
A 2017 Sexual Medicine study found that men who used Ayurvedic medicine saw a slight, but significant, increase in the time it took to ejaculate during sex. Known potential side effects include:
Chinese herbal medicine
A weekly or daily dose of Chinese herbal medicine — in particular, Yimusake tablets or Qilin pills — may treat premature ejaculation by boosting sexual stamina and improving energy. That same Sexual Medicine study found that different types of Chinese herbal medicine can increase ejaculation time by about two minutes. Known potential side effects include:
Over-the-counter topical anesthetic creams contain a numbing agent that can treat premature ejaculation by reducing sensation and delaying climax. Apply the cream to your penis 10 to 15 minutes before sex in order for it to be most effective. The 2017 Sexual Medicine study found that topical creams can help increase the time it took to ejaculate by a few minutes. Although generally well-tolerated, anesthetic creams can cause:
mild burning sensation
a temporary loss of sensitivity
Like topical creams, lidocaine spray can help treat premature ejaculation by desensitizing the penis and decreasing hypersensitivity. Use the spray 10 to 15 minutes before sex in order for it to work best. Known potential side effects include lowered libido and temporary sensitivity loss.
Zinc not only supports healthy immunity and cell growth, the essential mineral also helps produce testosterone as well as boost your libido and energy. Research has found a link between zinc deficiency and sexual dysfunction in men, so taking 11 milligrams of zinc per day — the recommended amount — may improve ejaculation time.
A 2009 study conducted on rats showed that zinc supplements can increase testosterone, which may improve sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation. Taking too much zinc, though, may cause:
kidney and stomach damage
a metallic taste in your mouth
In addition to zinc, magnesium also plays a role in your sexual health and can play a role in premature ejaculation, according to research. Incorporating foods into your diet that are rich in zinc and magnesium may help increase the time it takes you to climax. Those foods include:
wheat germ cereal
beef and lamb
The pause-squeeze technique may help treat premature ejaculation by letting arousal dwindle before climax. When you feel you’re ready to ejaculate, stop and have your partner squeeze the end of your penis where the head joins the shaft. Have them hold the squeeze for several seconds until you no longer want to climax. Repeat this process as much as necessary. Eventually, you may be able to delay ejaculation without help.
The stop-start technique, also known as orgasm control or “edging,” can help delay climax by drawing out pleasure. When you feel the urge to ejaculate, stop having sexual activity completely. Once you feel less aroused, slowly start to have sexual activity again. Repeat this process as much as necessary to help you control ejaculation.
Pelvic floor exercises
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can have a big impact on how long it takes you to climax. A 2014 Therapeutic Advances in Urology study found that pelvic floor exercises can help men dealing with lifelong premature ejaculation control their ejaculatory reflex, increasing the time it takes for them to climax. To perform pelvic floor exercises:
Find the right muscles by stopping mid-stream while peeing or tightening the muscles that stop you from passing gas.
While laying down, contract your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds, and then relax for 3 seconds. Do this at least 10 times in a row. Repeat at least 3 times a day.
Gradually increase the number of seconds as your muscles become stronger. Try new positions, such as standing, walking, or sitting down.
Don’t forget to breathe, and remember to focus only on your pelvic floor muscles. Don’t tighten your abs, thighs, or buttocks.
‘Climax control’ condoms
Condoms, in general, may decrease sensitivity and keep you from ejaculating early. But there are also climax control condoms available over-the-counter that are either made of a thicker latex material or contain a numbing agent that’s meant to delay climax.
Masturbating an hour or two before you have sexual activity may help delay ejaculation during penetration. This sexual release should reduce your need to climax quickly.
Avoid sex for a period of time
This may seem counterintuitive, but focusing on other types of sexual activity instead of intercourse may help take the pressure off from your sexual encounters. Penetration isn’t the only way to reach sexual satisfaction, so think about other ways you and your partner can feel pleasure that won’t cause either of you distress or frustration.
Premature ejaculation is a completely normal and common type of sexual complaint that affects up to 40 percent of men in the United States. Any of these home remedies and natural treatments can help you manage your symptoms. But if premature ejaculation persists, you should see your doctor to rule out any underlying causes and explore other treatment options.