In the Philippines, where men and women report having sex at least 9 times a month on average, premature ejaculation is still underdiagnosed and under-treated
A subject often discussed in low tones, experts believe that premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common sexual dysfunction among men today.
In fact, a study of the prevalence and attitude of premature ejaculation in Asia Pacific of 2012 suggests that it occurs in 1 of every 3 men between 18 and 65 years of age.
Not to be confused with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is “persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, on or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes,” said Dr. George Lee Eng Geap , Urological surgeon based consultant in Malaysia.
It is also the inability to delay ejaculation, which can leave both the male and the female sexually unsatisfied during sexual intercourse.
Unfortunately, there are still misconceptions that premature ejaculation is a psychological condition. According to the Philippine Sex Behavior and Satisfaction Survey of 2013, almost half or 47% of respondents believe that men can not control ejaculation due to stress.
The research, however, points to both psychological and biological factors, with a neurotransmitter called serotonin playing a central role.
Proper levels of serotonin – a chemical messenger in the brain and nervous system – help delay ejaculation. Men diagnosed with premature ejaculation have low levels of serotonin.
In the Philippines, where men and women report having sex at least 9 times a month on average (based on the Philippines’ 2013 survey), premature ejaculation is still underdiagnosed and poorly treated.
According to ControlPE.ph, men with premature ejaculation have compared their sneezing condition.
“Think of sneezing as another reflex and how difficult that control is. In a sense, PE is the same – men may feel that it’s about to happen, but they can not do anything to stop. That’s because, as a sneezing, ejaculation is a reflex action that is controlled by the brain and nervous system. Once triggered, it can not be stopped, “said the website.
Experts believe that treatment is important since premature ejaculation does not only affect men.
According to the 2013 survey, a majority or 70% of women believe that being able to control ejaculation gives mutual satisfaction that plays an important role in a successful relationship.
It is also associated with inflammation of the thyroid and prostate.
First drug for premature ejaculation
If premature ejaculation is so common, what prevents men from receiving treatment?
At a press conference on Thursday, July 10, Lee said the two men do not know how frequent they are, take time to decide whether to see a doctor or whether the available treatments have compromised their confidence in doctors.
While the exact cause of premature ejaculation is still unknown, there are several treatments available for men, including behavioral techniques, psychological counseling, and reduction of penis sensation.
There are also medications available, ranging from pills, creams that numb the penis, to penile injection therapy. (LEA: Cholesterol Drugs Help Erectile Function: Study)
Apart from these, Dapoxetine – the first and only drug specifically developed to treat premature ejaculation – is now available in the Philippines.
“Dapoxetine works by inhibiting a protein that transports serotonin away from synapses, thereby increasing synaptic levels of serotonin and consequently controlling ejaculation,” Lee said in a statement.
According to manufacturer A. Menarini Philippines, the oral drug – to be taken 1-3 hours before intercourse – has been shown to work for most men in the first dose. An optimal effect can be achieved after approximately 6 doses in 4 weeks.
“It’s not just [prolonging] sex. It’s about control and satisfaction,” Lee said Thursday.
Dapoxetine is already available on prescription at major pharmacies in the Philippines. It comes in packs of 3 worth P1,200 ($ 27.60) or P400 ($ 9.20) per tablet.