Another Take: Premature Ejaculation Behavioral Therapy – Does it Work?

The psychological approach to premature ejaculation recently took a slight blow in an ABC NEWS /Health report titled: Premature Ejaculation Treatment Questioned?

Psychological management is based on the de-stressing of the mind so as to allow the body to let go and work optimally. By talking about the condition freely, men can then begin to approach it using their natural ability, to fix things.

Internal medicine professor, Tamara Melnik at the Federal University in San Paulo, Brazil states, “The assumption behind psychosocial interventions is that when patients learn about [premature ejaculation] they begin to develop new sexual management strategies to deal with restrictive sexual patterns, such as avoidance of sexual activity and an unwillingness to discuss sex with a partner…”.  However, according to four published studies, a Cochrane Review states that there is not enough adequate evidence to support the claimed effects of premature ejaculation behavioral therapy.

The report sites that some specialists feel behavioral treatment in conjunction with prescription drug therapy has a higher probability of success. Drug treatments for premature ejaculation (PE) include the more popular, Zoloft and Paxil both SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor). Although prescribed for depression, at low doses these can remedy symptoms of the condition in some men. Another option includes a numbing cream such as lidocaine that may prolong sex.

Urologist, Dr. Wayne Hellstrom states that combined with either topical or oral medication, behavioral therapy works in some people. He also states that the FDA approved treatments for PE are slim to none. The best approach is for doctors to prescribe a drug treatment while following its protocol ‘off label’ rather than a relying on a pile of case reports.

Interestingly, there is little understanding of the physical causes of PE. Therefore, it is estimated that approximately ninety-percent of those afflicted suffer from psychological factors. These may include stress associated with work, relationships, money and other worry ridden factors. However, this percentage did not adhere to the rigorous set of high standards regarding evidence based studies and therefore cannot be published as conclusive.

Mainly, premature ejaculation behavioral therapy offers a safe atmosphere to discuss and understand feelings of being unable to satisfy your partner. Unfortunately, the only recognized studies are those reviewed by Cochrane while others were inadequate regarding size and duration.

The high price tag of this behavioral therapy can also be considered a minus. Depending on where you live and who you choose, cost can range in the $125 per hour or more with a course of treatment at about eight sessions. In addition, it is required to have both partners present which can sometimes impede participation.

Pushing for more study, Dr. Stanley Althof, executive director of the Center for Marital and Sexual Health comments, “We really need to move into the 21st century with the kind of research we do.”

Premature ejaculation behavioral therapy may not work for everyone however with medical assistance this dual pronged approach just may be the way to go.

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