1 in 3 men can't control ejaculation – study
MANILA, Philippines – A topic often discussed in hushed tones, experts believe premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common sexual dysfunction among men today.
In fact, a 2012 Asia Pacific Premature Ejaculation Prevalence and Attitude Study suggests it happens in 1 in every 3 men aged 18 to 65 years old.
Not to be confused with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is the “persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, on, or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it,” said Dr George Lee Eng Geap, a consultant urological surgeon based in Malaysia.
It’s also the inability to delay ejaculation, which can leave both man and woman sexually dissatisfied during sexual intercourse.
Unfortunately, there are still misconceptions that premature ejaculation is a psychological condition. According to the 2013 Philippines Sexual Behaviors and Satisfaction Survey, almost half or 47% of the respondents believe men can’t control ejaculation because of stress.
Research, however, points to both psychological and biological factors, with a neurotransmitter called serotonin playing a central role.
Adequate levels of serotonin – a chemical messenger in the brain and nervous system – help delay ejaculation. Men diagnosed with premature ejaculation have low levels of serotonin.
In the Philippines, where men and women report having sex at least 9 times a month on average (based on the 2013 Philippine survey), premature ejaculation remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.
According to ControlPE.ph, men with premature ejaculation have compared their condition to sneezing.
"Think about sneezing as another reflex and how hard it is to control. In some ways, PE is the same – men can feel that it is about to happen but they cannot do anything to stop it. This is because, like a sneeze, ejaculation is a reflex action that is controlled by the brain and nervous system. Once triggered, it can’t be stopped,” the website said.
According to the 2013 survey, a majority or 70% of women believe being able to control ejaculation gives mutual satisfaction which plays an important role in a successful relationship.
It is also associated with thyroid and prostate inflammation.
First drug for premature ejaculation
If premature ejaculation is so common, what keeps men from getting treatment?
In a media briefing on Thursday, July 10, Lee said either men don’t know how prevalent it is, they take time in deciding whether to see a doctor about it, or treatments available have compromised their confidence in doctors.
While the exact cause of premature ejaculation is still unknown, there are various treatments available for men, including behavioral techniques, psychological counseling, and reducing penile sensation.
There are also medications available, ranging from pills, creams that numb the penis, to penile injection therapy. (READ: Cholesterol drugs aid erectile function: study)
Aside from these, Dapoxetine – the first and only drug specifically developed to treat premature ejaculation – is already available in the Philippines.
“Dapoxetine works by inhibiting a protein that transports serotonin away from the synapses, thereby increasing the synaptic levels of serotonin and consequently controlling ejaculation,” Lee said in a statement.
According to manufacturer A. Menarini Philippines, the oral drug – which should be taken 1-3 hours before intercourse – is proven to work for most men in the first dose. One can achieve optimal effect after approximately 6 doses within 4 weeks.
“[It’s] not just [prolonging] sex. It’s about control [and] satisfaction,” Lee said on Thursday.
Dapoxetine is already available – upon doctor's prescription – in major drugstores in the Philippines. It comes in packs of 3 worth P1,200 ($27.60) or P400 ($9.20) per tablet.
Are you or your partner ejaculating too soon during intercourse? Take this test to find out. – Rappler.com
$1 = P43.47
Surprised young man image via Shutterstock