Up to three in 10 men in Ireland suffer from premature ejaculation, but most are too embarrassed to seek medical advice, according to a leading expert on sexual health.
The condition — which has been described as the ‘final taboo’ in men’s health — can be effectively treated with prescribed medication and even eliminated with a change in lifestyle.
Alessandra Grazziotin, a world-renowned gynaecologist, medical sexologist, and leading authority on the condition, said that as many as two in three Irish men with premature ejaculation (PE) feel too ashamed to admit they have a problem or to look for professional assistance.
However, Italy-based Dr Grazziotin, who is spearheading an Irish awareness campaign on the condition, warned that those who continue to suffer in silence are more likely to suffer mental health issues and marriage breakdowns.
“My message for Irish men is to not hide the problem, but to face up to it and visit the GP,” said Dr Grazziotin.
“A lot of men still do not realise that it’s treatable, but it is, and the major step is to accept that there’s a problem and then deal with it.
“In some cases, medical treatment will not be necessary and a change in lifestyle, such as cutting down drinking, improving diet and taking more exercise, can solve it.
“If it’s not faced up to, the consequences can be devastating and lead to anxiety, low self-confidence and depression.
“It is also likely to lead to problems in a relationship or a marriage because the couple’s sex life will suffer.
“PE can also leave the female in a relationship feeling frustrated and blaming her partner for not caring about her and letting her down.
“If the condition is not dealt with, she is then likely to become more aggressive and suspicious that her partner is having an affair.
“The reality is that there’s a very good chance a relationship will not survive if the problem is not tackled.”
Dr Grazziotin also said she believes Irish men are less willing to face up to premature ejaculation than most of their counterparts in continental Europe.
However, she predicted that the hitherto taboo subject will, in the coming years, be as commonly discussed as erectile dysfunction, which was quickly accepted as a medical issue by the general public following the introduction of drugs such as Viagra.
Premature ejaculation is defined as ejaculating within one minute of sexual penetration, and is related to the interaction of neurotransmitters in a man’s brain and spinal chord.
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