Diagnosing premature ejaculation
If you often ejaculate sooner during sexual intercourse than you or your partner would like, you may be suffering from premature ejaculation (PE). It is perfectly understandable if you’re embarrassed or ashamed, but you do not have to be. One in three men has PE. PE is the most common male sexual disorder, even more common than erectile dysfunction (ED), and it affects men of all ages. You and your partner can decide to seek medical help. This is the first step to beating PE and enjoying a more fulfilling sex life and relationship.
Your doctor will talk to you and your partner, and conduct a detailed interview about your sex life. Your doctor will determine your health history and may perform a general physical exam. He/she will assess whether you have any PE risk factors such as ED, which can cause you to hurry through sex for fear of losing your erection; a heart problem, which may cause you to feel anxious during sex and unconsciously rush to ejaculate; and emotional stress, which often limits your ability to relax and focus during sex.
The Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT) is a simple, validated questionnaire designed to help doctors diagnose PE. It consists of five questions, each with four possible answers the patient can select. Each answer has a score that corresponds to its number (1, 2, 3 or 4). A total score of 8 and below indicates a man has no PE. A total score of 9 or 10 suggests probable PE. A total score of 11 or higher means a man has PE.
There are two types of PE. Primary (or lifelong) PE has a potential physiological component and variable expression of psychological component. Secondary (or acquired) PE has a physiological component, some association with ED, that is linked to psychological stressors and is situational. To help make the diagnosis, your doctor may refer you to a urologist, who specializes in sexual dysfunction, or to a psychologist. If you have both PE and ED, your doctor may order blood tests to check your male hormone (testosterone) levels or other tests.
It is time to man up and face PE. With the support of their partners, men who suspect they may have PE should consult a doctor. Only with proper diagnosis can effective treatment be started. The good news is that an innovative drug specifically developed to treat PE will soon be available in the Philippines. Successful treatment often involves a combination of medications and psychological and relationship counseling. Take action now to regain control.
Dr. Joel A. Aldana is a urologist consultant at Medical City and St. Luke’s Medical Center, Bonifacio Global City and president of the Philippine Endourological Society. A health information advocacy supported by A. Menarini Philippines, PE-P Talk is a column series that aims to raise awareness on and enhance understanding of premature ejaculation (PE) and its proper diagnosis and treatment. For inquiries, please e-mail [email protected] or visit www.controlPE.ph.
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