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What’s The Difference Between Premature Ejaculation And Erectile Dysfunction?

They Are Two Of The Most Common Sexual Health Conditions In The Uk, But What Is The Difference Between Them?

Combined, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation impact thousands of men across the UK. These health conditions can impact far more than just your sexual experiences, carrying the potential to negatively impact confidence and relationships, and making men more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

When it comes to sexual health, knowledge is power. If you are a man, understanding more about these conditions can give you the strong foundation you need to seek out the treatment you need.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the differences between premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

What’s The Difference Between Premature Ejaculation And Erectile Dysfunction?

Both premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are sexual health conditions which impact the penis during sexual intercourse, but that’s where the similarities end.

Erectile dysfunction is when you have trouble achieving or maintaining an erection during sex, while premature ejaculation is when you ejaculate quickly during sexual activity. Let’s take a closer look at these conditions.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as ED, is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. The most common symptoms of ED include difficulty achieving an erection, having softer erections that normal, and being unable to maintain an erection once it has been achieved.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Occasional difficulty in achieving erection is common during sex, especially if you’re nervous or you’ve been drinking alcohol beforehand. However, if it happens regularly than it may be a medical issue worth investigating.

ED can be caused by both physical and psychological factors. These include:

Premature ejaculation: Treatments and causes

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Unhealthy diet/lifestyle
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Negative thoughts about sex/sexual trauma

Can Erectile Dysfunction Be Treated?

Depending on the underlying reason behind ED, there are several treatment options available. Sometimes simply changing your lifestyle habits – losing weight, quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol – can help alleviate symptoms. If the cause is psychological, then talking through your issues with your partner or a healthcare professional can reduce ED symptoms.

There are also medications available designed to make erections easier to attain and last longer, such as Sildenafil. These have been proven to be extremely effective in reducing ED symptoms, and you can find them here:

What Is Premature Ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation, or PE, occurs when you ejaculate sooner than you or your partner would like. It can be difficult to determine when this becomes a medical concern, but the generally agreed upon thresholds are:

  • Always or almost always ejaculating within one minute of penetration
  • Unable to delay ejaculation during sex every time or almost every time
  • Avoiding sexual intimacy due to PE concerns

What Causes Premature Ejaculation?

There are two different kinds of PE – lifelong premature ejaculation and acquired premature ejaculation. While the former impacts you from your first sexual experience onwards, the second describes PE which has developed after enjoying normal sexual experiences in the past.

Both of these kinds of PE can be caused by physical and psychological factors, which include:

  • Chemical/hormonal imbalances
  • Urological conditions concerning the prostate or urethra
  • Hereditary traits
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Poor self esteem
  • Relationship problems
  • Sexual abuse/negative sexual experiences

Can Premature Ejaculation Be Treated?

SSRIs – usually prescribed dapoxetine (Priligy) to treat anxiety and depression – are sometimes prescribed as a treatment for PE. Sufferers have also found success through behavioural techniques during sex, like the stop-start technique or Kegel exercises. Seeking advice from healthcare professionals can also provide you with peace of mind.