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... and what to do if the man in your life has premature ejaculation (PE) or erectile dysfunction (ED). Think of this as a helping hand (so to speak!)

This article is in partnership with Menarini.
DO prep yourself with the PE facts

It’s when a man climaxes and ejaculates (releases semen) more quickly than he’d want to during sex. It’s very common: it’s estimated that 20-30% of men suffer from PE. Causes include prostate problems, an overactive/underactive thyroid, taking recreational drugs, or low serotonin. Psychological causes can include depression, stress, relationship issues and anxiety about sex.

DO educate yourself about ED

The inability to get and maintain an erection is very common, especially in men over 40. But, if it happens regularly, it can indicate an underlying health problem, such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure. Alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs and some prescription meds may also cause issues. And, like PE, there can be psychological reasons, including performance anxiety.

DON’T keep trying to make sex happen

Focus on fostering intimacy outside the bedroom instead. Think regular, romantic date nights that end in cuddles instead of nooky, and making more time to really talk and remind each other why you fell in love in the first place.

DON’T ignore the issue and hope it’ll go away

You should discuss it and encourage him to open up. He’ll need to feel he’s in a safe space with you and that you’ll listen and be supportive and non-judgemental.

DO reassure him that there’s help for PE and ED

Your first port of call? Your GP or local sexual health clinic to establish a possible underlying cause, which may need attention. If not, hopefully he’ll take heart from knowing ED treatments have a high success rate: they range from meds to help physical issues to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and sex therapy for psychological issues. If PE is a persistent problem, he should see his GP. Treatments include medication, counselling, behavioural therapy (including the squeeze method, during which you control your partner’s climax), an over-the-counter numbing spray, as well as delay condoms. And, great news: 95 out of 100 men improve control of ejaculation using these methods. Hopefully, this’ll get him dialling the doctor, or he can check out the Boots Online Doctor* service at boots.com. The Boots Erectile Dysfunction Online Clinic* offers medication and support. Click here to book a consultation.

*The Boots Online Doctor service offers access to advice and medication. Access to medication is subject to an online consultation with a clinician to assess suitability. Charges apply. 

Sponsored by A. Menarini Farmaceutica Internazionale SRL. Date of preparation: April 2021; PP-PR-UK-0005. *Treatments supplied are subject to clinician approval. Eligibility criteria and charges apply.