Are Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction Related?

We get a lot of questions about premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction from our visitors.  Most want to know if the two health conditions are related.  Does one cause the other?  Can you have PE without impotence?  What exactly is the relationship?

We set out to answer those questions more definitively for you, so you can figure out your best course of action to remedy the situation.  First we'll start with a definition of the two conditions, and then explain how they may or may not be related to each other.

Premature Ejaculation vs. Impotence

You may have a general idea of what these terms mean exactly, but it always helps to have a deeper understanding as it might help you determine what your situation is.

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation, or simple PE, is when you ejaculate (release semen) earlier on during a sexual experience than you or your partner would have liked to.  It tends to happen more often in new relationships, as you may be less comfortable or more excited than you would be in a long-term relationship.

Of course, it can happen with a lifelong partner as well. It is very common and is typically not a cause for concern.  In fact, it's the most prevalent sex related condition for men under 40.  According to Medscape, in the United States 30-70% of men experience premature ejaculation at one point or another during their lives.

So if you have recently experienced PE, take comfort in the fact that it is very common, and treatments are available.

What causes premature ejaculation? As with many health conditions, the precise cause is unknown, but experts believe that it is related to the feel good chemicals in your brain, known as serotonin.  High levels of serotonin may expand the amount of time it takes to ejaculate; conversely low levels may shorten that time.  So serotonin concentration may be a contributing component to the problem, the extent of which is currently unknown.

It is considered a psychological issue, which erectile dysfunction also can be.  Conditions such as stress, depression, anxiety, pressure to perform, relationship issues, lack of confidence, history of related issues can all cause premature ejaculation on their own or together.

PE can occur at any age, but as you get older you may have more difficulty maintaining an erection, or postponing ejaculation...so  it may or may not become more of an issue as you get older.

Erectile Dysfunction

We've discussed the definition of ED throughout the site, but it's worth going over again so you can understand the difference.  Erectile dysfunction is either the inability to achieve an erection or the ability to maintain one long enough to perform.

As opposed to premature ejaculation, it is more often associated with old age, although it too can happen at any point in a man's life.  It's causes are also more defined, and include not only the psychological components but also physical and lifestyle causes. Various health conditions and diseases can cause impotence, as can alcohol use, smoking, certain medications, lack of exercise and obesity.

With either condition, it can be very difficult to determine the exact cause, especially if more than one of the above potential issues applies.

For example, if you smoke, you're stressed and you take three different medications, any one of those things could be the culprit.  Or they could be working in tandem to cause the problem.  There may also be an underlying health condition that you are not aware of that is causing the problem, even though it may appear that your lack of exercise is the only definitive cause.

Regardless of what is causing your erectile dysfunction, again rest assured that just like premature ejaculation it is quite common.

So are PE and ED Related to Each Other?

The short answer is yes, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are related, as they are both common male sexual health issues.  But the relationship goes a little deeper than this.

Some people with erectile issues also complain that they ejaculate early.  So sometimes the two conditions go hand in hand.  When they do, the cause of each may be the same.  So there may be something that is causing a degree of impotence that is also causing you to ejaculate earlier than you would have liked.

However, more often than not, premature ejaculation and impotence are mutually exclusive.  You may have no problem at all achieving an erection, especially if you are younger, but for one reason or another find yourself always releasing semen prematurely.

Conversely, you may just have problems achieving an erection, but once you do you find you are more than capable of "holding out" for as long as you would like.

So to answer the question is premature ejaculation related to impotence, we can say that the two conditions may co exist, but one does not necessarily cause the other, nor do both have to exist together.  However, there could be one cause contributing to both, and treating impotence may in fact cure premature ejaculation if that is the case.

Treating Premature Ejaculation and ED

A lot of people ask about preventing premature ejaculation, but there's no real way to do this and it shouldn't be something that you're worrying about.  The worry alone can definitely increase the chances that it will occur.

If it does occur occasionally, it's not really considered a problem.  It happens to every one from time to time and is not a cuase for concern.  It's when it happens often that you should look for some answers and potential treatment, especially if it is causing problems in your relationship(s).

Oftentimes psychological therapy is all that's needed when there is likely a cause such as those mentioned above.  That may be all you need to work out any anxiety or self confidence issues that you may have.  This can help with premature ejaculation as well as impotence.

Some behavioral techniques including the squeeze method and the stop and start method can also help.  You can learn more about those online.  Various exercises may also be beneficial for both conditions

Another treatment for PE is a numbing cream or spray, which may help you last longer as sensation is reduced.  There are also various drugs that may help, such as antidepressants, as they can increase serotonin levels in the brain, which as we mentioned has been associated with an increase in semen release time.

Oftentimes, a combination of treatments works best, so the first step is consulting with your doctor or a specialist to determine what the cause(s) may be and how best to go about remedying the issue.

Whether you are dealing with premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or both conditions, know that effective treatments are available.  Talk to your doctor and see what your options are.

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