As a couples and sex therapist in private practice, I am often astonished at how many men and couples come to see me trying to fix premature ejaculation. Many men suffer with shame and embarrassment about feeling that they ejaculate too quickly, leading them to have anxiety about sex and their performance.
According to The Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of premature ejaculation isn't known. While it was once thought to be only psychological, doctors now know premature ejaculation is more complicated and involves a complex interaction of psychological and biological factors combined.
Some doctors believe that early sexual experiences may establish a pattern that can be difficult to change later in life, such as:
- Situations in which you may have hurried to reach climax in order to avoid being discovered
- Guilty feelings that increase your tendency to rush through sexual encounters
- Other factors that can play a role in causing premature ejaculation include:
- Erectile dysfunction. Men who are anxious about obtaining or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse may form a pattern of rushing to ejaculate.
- Anxiety. Many men with premature ejaculation also have problems with anxiety—either specifically about sexual performance or related to other issues.
- Relationship problems. If you have had satisfying sexual relationships with other partners in which premature ejaculation happened infrequently or not at all, it's possible that interpersonal issues between you and your current partner could be contributing to the problem.
- A number of biological factors may contribute to premature ejaculation, including:
- Abnormal hormone levels
- Abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
- Abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system
- Certain thyroid problems
- Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
- Inherited traits
- Nerve damage from surgery or trauma (rare)