Can Erectile Dysfunction Cause Premature Ejaculation?
Posted: August 23, 2022
Two of the most common types of sexual dysfunction in men are erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. What many don’t realize is that they may actually be connected. In many cases, underlying and untreated erectile dysfunction (ED) may lead to premature ejaculation, even without you knowing you have ED.
In this article, we’ll explore the link between these two common conditions as well as treatment options available for both. If you think you have erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, reach out to our team. We can help identify the underlying cause and provide customized treatment plans tailored to your lifestyle.
Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation May be Connected
While erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are two different medical conditions, they do share many similarities. Also, as we will see from this article, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests a link between the two, as many people who experience one will also experience the other.
First, let’s discuss what each of these conditions are and some of the differences between the two.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, also commonly known as impotence and ED, is a condition where you are unable to achieve or maintain an erection strong enough for sex. Some men with ED are unable to get an erection even when aroused and properly stimulated. Others may be able to get an erection, but it may disappear quickly, sometimes even before orgasm.
ED can be caused by many different things, including underlying physical and psychological conditions. Some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction include conditions that reduce blood flow to the penis. For instance, heart disease, clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, and obesity. Erectile dysfunction may also be caused by damaged nerves, such as from uncontrolled diabetes. Other physical causes include hormone imbalances, such as low testosterone, which can lower libido.
What is Premature Ejaculation?
Premature ejaculation is another form of sexual dysfunction in men. It’s also incredibly common, with approximately one in five men between ages 18 and 59 experiencing premature ejaculation. This is where you orgasm earlier than you would like to. While there is no standard or rule for how long a man should have sex before ejaculating, typically premature ejaculation is where you regularly ejaculate within one to three minutes of penetration.
Some signs you may have premature ejaculation include:
- You always or almost always ejaculate in less than three minutes of penetration
- You’re always or almost always unable to delay ejaculation during sex
- You feel distressed about how quickly you orgasm
- You avoid sex because you ejaculate quickly
As you can see, there are important differences between ED and premature ejaculation. However, keep in mind that you might suffer from both conditions at the same time. In fact, untreated erectile dysfunction may be the underlying cause of premature ejaculation for many men.
Erectile Dysfunction Increases the Risk for Premature Ejaculation
While premature ejaculation isn’t the same condition as erectile dysfunction, ED can actually lead to or cause premature ejaculation. Many studies over the years have found that ED increases the risk for premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation are often seen together in men struggling with sexual dysfunction.
Researchers are still studying why this may be the case. However, one potential explanation is that erectile dysfunction leads to a habit of ejaculating early that can be hard to break. This essentially means that ED may be the underlying cause of premature ejaculation.
Many men may feel rushed to orgasm quickly if they know that their erection won’t last very long. This may be consciously or unconsciously done. Over time, that may become your “new normal” and can be a difficult practice to break. In this way, ED can cause premature ejaculation.
What are Other Causes of Premature Ejaculation?
While ED is a common cause of premature ejaculation, it’s not the only one. Just like with erectile dysfunction and other sexual dysfunctions, there can be a large number of causes and factors that affect premature ejaculation.
For instance, some other common causes of premature ejaculation include things like:
- Inflammation of the prostate or urethra
- Extra sensitive genitals
- Hormone imbalances like hyperthyroidism
- High stress levels
- Performance anxiety
- Relationship problems
Generally, it’s important to identify the underlying cause of premature ejaculation. Treating that underlying condition often improves premature ejaculation symptoms.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment May Improve Premature Ejaculation
The good news is that several studies have found that erectile dysfunction treatment may help improve premature ejaculation for some men. There have been several studies into the effects of sildenafil, a common treatment for ED, on premature ejaculation. Studies have found positive improvements for men with premature ejaculation after taking sildenafil, also known by its brand name, Viagra™.
Sildenafil is one of the most common therapies for erectile dysfunction. It works by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme, allowing more blood to flow into the penis with arousal and stimulation. It helps address ED caused by physical problems that reduce blood flow, such as heart disease and clogged arteries. However, evidence suggests that it may also improve symptoms of premature ejaculation.
One study from 2005 looked at the effects of sildenafil versus a placebo for men with premature ejaculation. The researchers found that the men who used sildenafil reported more ejaculatory control, increased sexual satisfaction scores, as well as a faster refractory time for second ejaculation. This suggests that sildenafil may be a good treatment option for men with premature ejaculation.
Another study from 2007 also found improved results for men with premature ejaculation taking sildenafil. In this study, the researchers divided men with premature ejaculation into three groups. One group took sildenafil, one took a common SSRI used for depression and anxiety, and the other used a different treatment called the squeeze method (which we’ll describe in the next section).
Compared to the other two groups, the men in the sildenafil group saw improvements in all the parameters the researchers looked at, including intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (basically how quickly one ejaculates during penetrative sex), premature ejaculation severity, intercourse satisfaction, and intercourse frequency.
Therefore, commonly prescribed erectile dysfunction treatments may also help improve premature ejaculation symptoms.
Other Potential Treatment Options for Premature Ejaculation
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for treating any medical condition, including premature ejaculation. Our providers can help you find the right treatment options for your needs.
Some other common treatment options include:
- The Start and Stop Method: The start and stop method is where you stop sexual stimulation right before reaching orgasm until you can gain control again. This allows you to delay ejaculation by repeating the cycle several times throughout sex.
- The Squeeze Method: The squeeze method, which was used in the 2007 study described in the above section, is similar to the start and stop method. However, rather than stopping all stimulation before reaching orgasm, instead you gently squeeze the penis. This reduces blood flow and may soften the erection. It can help prevent premature ejaculation. However, if you already struggle with erectile dysfunction, it may also lead to problems maintaining your erection during sex.
- SSRIs: SSRIs are medications commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety, both of which can cause premature ejaculation.
- Therapy: In some cases, premature ejaculation is caused by underlying psychological causes, such as depression, anxiety, or relationship problems. If this is the cause of your premature ejaculation symptoms, then therapy may help.
Talk to Our Providers About Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation
Your sexual health is an important part of your overall health and quality of life. If you’re suffering from sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, it’s important to know that help is available.
Our team at Low T Center offers total men’s health management solutions for you. We help identify and treat underlying causes of your symptoms. Our custom treatment plans are designed specifically with you in mind and our team offers ongoing monitoring to optimize your treatment.
For convenient, affordable, and high quality health care for men, choose our team for your needs. Get in touch now to schedule an appointment and see how our providers can help you improve your health and your life as a whole.
Disclaimer: This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of Low T Center. You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.