Thank you! Come again! (but not quite so fast)

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By Liz Langley

Premature ejaculation, a condition causing a man to reach sexual climax before he or his partner is ready, has long been thought to have its roots in stress, guilt or excitement. A new study, however, suggests a genetic component to the problem in almost the same breath in which a pill to treat the condition went on sale in the UK.

PE has typically been treated with relaxation therapies, desensitizing creams or other techniques like “the squeeze method,” described here on Medicine Plus, a US government health website thus: as the man is about to ejaculate “the man or his partner gently squeezes the end of the penis (where the glans meets the shaft) for several seconds. Stop sexual stimulation for about 30 seconds, and then start it again,” repeating until ejaculation is desired.

On the same page, however, there’s a clue as to a future PE treatment. Some patients, it says, were finding relief through antidepressants because they delay ejaculation. The new UK drug, Priligy (dapoxetine) regulates the brain’s seratonin levels which give a man more control over when he ejaculates. It’s has already been approved in several other European countries and is selling in England for an eye-popping $118 for three pills (it’s taken one to three hours before sex).

Interestingly, Priligy is only prescribed online. While an estimated 30% of men suffer from premature ejaculation many are too embarrassed to discuss the problem with a doctor. The online consultations are meant to remove that obstacle according to a spokesperson at Lloydspharmacy who is providing the service. After a consultation the pills are delivered to the patient securely through the mail.

Now, however, it looks like men don’t need to be embarrassed about the problem – they can blame an ancestor.

Researchers in Sweden and Finland studied saliva samples from 1300 men to test for “defects in a dopamine transporter gene DAT1,” according to the Daily Mail UK. Men with a variation in the gene were “much more like to suffer from premature ejaculation.” The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Priligy has not yet been approved by the FDA though according to this comprehensive MSNBC story on the subject, Johnson & Johnson applied for approval in 2005 but were turned down. Interestingly the story brings up the idea that introducing the medication to the market might give some men who are perfectly health the idea that they have a problem, i.e., the cure inspiring ideas of a disease they don’t really have.

And now that you’re wondering it also says the average guy lasts about six minutes….but please don’t get out the timer. Most women take a lot of things to bed – desire for passion, intimacy and all kinds of play. Not many take a stopwatch.

About Liz Langley
Liz Langley is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in about 20 publications – to see more go to www.lizlangley.com

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