Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction – Are They Related?
Is there a link between premature ejaculation (PE) and erectile dysfunction ED?
Yes there is!
Either the fear of losing the erection, makes the man ejaculate too quickly? Or - the other way round, he needs to ejaculate straight away, before the erection is lost? Funnily enough, treating men with ED, with Sildafenil (Viagra) often helps both conditions!
While researching these two types of make sexual dysfunction, I realised that although they seem very different, they have the same underlying causes and share many of the same treatment options.
Around 40 percent of men aged 40-70 will experience ED at some point in their lives, and around 20 percent will experience PE. Both conditions are very common and cause much heartache for the man, but also for the partner.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation?
There is usually no single cause, but often a combination of psychological factors, along with other lifestyle factors.
What happens during an erection. Sexual stimuli result in biochemical changes within the penile tissues. There is a large release of nitric oxide (NO). These chemicals cause the penile arteries to relax, dilate and fill with blood. The penis has a cleverly designed blood supply, such then when full of blood, it is rigid for penetration. After ejaculation, the penile muscles constrict again, and the penis is no longer erect.
In order to have a good erection a man needs a good blood supply to the penis, and the correct biochemical environment to enable the penile arteries to function. The cells which line the arterial walls are extremely important, and this is where a whole variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients are needed to ensure correct function.
In summary, all aspects of sexual function will be reduced by - anything that reduces penile blood flow, reduces or prevents adequate levels of NO, or if there is a dietary deficiency of essential nutrients.
Which Factors Directly Affect Male Sexual Function?
Drugs are not always required to improve male sexual function. Read on and see!
You are what you eat! There are host of dietary nutrients essential to get your penis working properly. It’s time to stop the takeaways and the processed foods and follow a Mediterranean diet. This means eating more fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and fish.
Foods that can prevent ED are those rich in flavonoids, such as beetroot, red cabbage, sprouts, blueberries, raspberries, black currants and citrus fruits.
Eat foods that boost your NO levels, such as onions, garlic chilli, peppers and extra virgin olive oil.
Also, foods which increase the blood flow to the penis, such as those containing lycopene, e.g. watermelon and tomatoes. Plus foods rich in vitamin B3 such as chicken, fish, mushrooms , avocados and sunflower seeds. Red wine, in small quantities can be helpful. Caffeine also has this effect.
Some foods directly help the chemical signalling involved in the erection process, such as watercress, oysters, broccoli, Brazil nuts and almonds.
Time to be healthy!
Get a free NHS health check at the GP surgery – if you are male and aged between 40 -70. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/
Stop smoking - Smoking is associated with the build-up of poisonous bi-products all of which can affect different types of cellular function within the penis. Smoking also damages the vessel walls of your arteries and can affect penile blood flow, leading to erectile dysfunction.
Reduce your alcohol intake - Studies have shown that all types of sexual dysfunction - including PE, Erectile dysfunction and loss of libido - are all more common in men with alcohol dependence. Excess alcohol, reduces all aspects of sexual performance.
Lose weight – ED and PE are both associated with obesity. Aim for an optimal BMI of 21-26.
Do not use illegal drugs – Opiates may be associated with PE, usually because they ‘damp-down’ bodily sensations. PE then becomes apparent on withdrawal. Cocaine and amphetamine use is also associated with PE.
Time to think about fitness! The penis is made up smooth muscle, just like the rest of your body. If you want to perform better in the bedroom, you need to be generally fitter and have stronger healthier muscles.
This means eating protein enriched foods, and doing pelvic floor exercises.
Men need around 88g protein per day in their diet, as well as complex carbohydrates from fruit, vegetables and nuts. In general you should follow a diet low in saturated fat (butter, cream, meat and chocolate) and higher in unsaturated fats (fish, corn oil, nuts and sunflower seeds.)
Just as in women, a strong pelvic floor is essential for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Pelvic floor exercises include teaching patients to be aware of the pelvic floor, electrical nerve stimulation of the pelvic floor and biofeedback.
These include stress, anxiety, depression, guilt and low self esteem – all need attention.
You can also be taught techniques to control/delay ejaculation by doing exercises at home. This improves confidence at sexual performance and lessens anxiety. Published results from men undergoing this treatment are highly favourable.
Exercises at Home
The man needs to improve his awareness of the sensations within the body, when he is about to ejaculate. To do this exercise, he is advised, either by himself, or with a partner, to stimulate the penis until just before “the point of no return.” He/they then stop and wait for a few minutes, then repeat the exercise four or five times. Squeezing the tip of the penis firmly to stop arousal - the so called “squeeze technique,” is sometimes beneficial. Masters and Johnson reported a 98 percent success rate with this method!
The Good News!
Generally speaking both PE and ED lend themselves to treatment. With the right support 95 percent of men can achieve control of their erections and ejaculations. There a variety of medical treatments for these conditions, to be discussed in my next blog post!
Daisy Mae x
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I am also an Agony Aunt! You can email me queries about internet dating, sexual health and menopause! A problem shared is a problem halved. I love to hear from you!
Daisy Mae Writer, doctor, Agony Aunt