Is Premature Ejaculation Permanent or Can it be Cured?

Dr Kathryn Basford

Medically reviewed by

Dr Kathryn Basford

Last reviewed: 29 May 2024

Most of the time, premature ejaculation (PE) is temporary and can be treated when the cause of your symptoms is found. This is known as acquired PE. Lifelong PE is permanent and usually occurs when you first become sexually active. The type of PE you have will affect how it’s treated. With the right care and treatment, most people with premature ejaculation enjoy fulfilling sex lives.

Read on to learn more about the different types of premature ejaculation, how they affect you, and how to treat the condition safely and effectively.

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What is premature ejaculation?

Premature ejaculation is when you ejaculate (come) too quickly during sex.

There are 2 types of PE:

  • Lifelong – This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the part of your brain that controls ejaculation.
  • Acquired – This can be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety, stress, or depression or by physical factors, like prostate disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

The type of PE you have may affect how the condition is treated and managed.

What causes premature ejaculation?

Many different things can cause PE, and it’s important to try to identify what could be causing yours to help find a solution and treat your PE effectively.

Physical causes

There may be a physical cause or condition behind your PE symptoms, such as:

  • a heightened sensitivity in the nerves of your penis
  • diabetes
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • prostate disease
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • an overactive or underactive thyroid

Psychological causes

Psychological problems are another common cause of PE. This could include:

  • psychological trauma surrounding sexual activity
  • stress, anxiety, tiredness, or depression
  • problems in your sexual relationship that cause anxiety in the bedroom
  • a lack of confidence when having sex

Lifestyle factors

Some lifestyle factors could cause PE or make it worse, such as:

  • drinking too much alcohol
  • using recreational drugs
  • smoking
  • a lack of exercise

Is premature ejaculation permanent?

Most of the time, PE is temporary and can be treated when the cause of your symptoms is found. This is known as acquired PE. Lifelong PE is permanent and usually occurs when a man is first sexually active. Whether you have temporary or permanent PE, treatment options are available to ensure you can still have an enjoyable sex life.

When is premature ejaculation most likely to be permanent?

PE is most likely permanent if you have had symptoms since you first became sexually active, which is called lifelong PE. Your doctor will discuss whether your PE symptoms are likely to be permanent and what treatment options are available to you.

Can premature ejaculation be cured?

There is no cure for lifelong PE. Treatments work to reduce symptoms rather than cure them. If you have acquired PE, treating the cause may cure your PE symptoms, but this depends on what medical condition you have and how well it can be managed.

Can premature ejaculation be cured naturally?

You may be able to treat PE without medication, depending on what is causing it. For instance, if the cause of your PE is psychological, you may be offered therapy or couples counselling which can treat the cause of your PE symptoms. There is no natural miracle cure for PE.

Premature ejaculation treatment

There are treatments available for premature ejaculation that work to manage its symptoms rather than ‘curing’ it. Your treatment will depend on what type of PE you have and the cause of your symptoms.

Medical treatments

You can treat premature ejaculation with medical treatments such as EMLA cream or Priligy tablets.

EMLA cream is a PE treatment that contains 2 local anaesthetics, lidocaine and prilocaine. They work by numbing the skin to reduce the sensitivity of your penis and slow down how quickly you ejaculate.

Priligy tablets contain the active ingredient dapoxetine, which is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). As a result, Priligy helps to give you more control over your ejaculation and prevents you from ejaculating too soon.

Behavioural treatment

Behavioural treatments are something you can try yourself that may help you last longer in bed. These are also known as ‘self-control’ techniques and include things such as:

  • doing daily pelvic floor exercises, so you can have more control over when you ejaculate
  • masturbating an hour or two before sex
  • using a thicker condom to decrease sensitivity in your penis
  • taking a deep breath when you are close to ejaculating, which can briefly stop your ejaculation reflex (an automatic body reflex that causes ejaculation)
  • allowing your partner to be on top, so they can pull away when you are close to ejaculating
  • taking small breaks during sexual activity and thinking about something different and non-sexual (the ‘stop-start’ technique)
  • using the ‘squeeze’ technique, which involves squeezing the tip of your penis when you feel like you are going to ejaculate until the feeling passes

These methods can allow you to gain more control over your ejaculation over time. You may want to try one or several of these during sex to find what works for you and your partner. You can also try them on your own whilst you masturbate.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I have premature ejaculation?

If you are ejaculating quickly with only a little or no stimulation and have less control over when you ejaculate, you may have PE. This could happen every time you have sex or only sometimes.

Does premature ejaculation affect fertility?

PE does not affect fertility or the quality of your sperm, so you can still try for a baby when you have PE. It can be harder to impregnate a partner if you are unable to control when you ejaculate and ejaculate before penetration. You may want to try behavioural techniques or medical treatment so you can last longer and ejaculate inside your partner.

Is premature ejaculation a sign of infertility?

No, PE is not directly linked to infertility.

Are premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction (ED) linked?

PE and ED are often linked, but not always. If you have ejaculation problems and also struggle to get or maintain an erection, you should consider if you might have erectile dysfunction.

If you have ED, this can also affect how you ejaculate. If you think your ED is causing premature ejaculation, you should treat the cause of your ED first. Speaking to a doctor will help you figure out what is causing your symptoms so you can make a plan on how to treat them.

Does premature ejaculation only apply to sex, or to masturbation as well?

PE can happen during sex or masturbation. If you notice that you only have symptoms during sex, the cause is most likely psychological and can be treated with therapy.

When should I see a doctor for my premature ejaculation?

You should see a doctor whenever you notice symptoms of PE, especially if they are affecting your sex life. This will ensure you get the treatment and support that you need.

Is premature ejaculation medication available without a prescription?

If you have PE and want medication to treat your symptoms, you will need a prescription from your doctor. You can also get premature ejaculation treatment online through a trusted online doctor service, such as Asda Online Doctor.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 15 Nov 2021

Last reviewed: 29 May 2024

(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)

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