PE and ED: What’s the difference?

It’s no mystery why premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction get confused. They’re both common, they’re both sex-related and they’re both specific to men. That being said, the most important step toward fixing a problem is, of course, understanding it.

In this guide, we explore the differences between the two conditions, how you can get effectively diagnosed and what treatment options are available to you. 

What is Premature Ejaculation?

Of all the problems that pop up in the bedroom, Premature Ejaculation (PE) is about as common as they come. Also known as rapid ejaculation, rapid climax, pre ejaculation, premature climax or early ejaculation, PE occurs when a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner would prefer. PE is not specifically about the time to ejaculation, but more about how losing control over your climax can make you feel. If it happens occasionally, there is no cause for concern – at some point, just about every guy will experience it. However, if this happens regularly, it might be time to seek proper diagnosis.

Some of the causes of PE can include:

  • Performance anxiety
  • General stress, anxiety or depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Relationship problems
  • Alcohol or recreational drug abuse

MORE: Learn more about the causes of PE here.

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is when you have trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Like many issues, this one can occur in varying degrees. Perhaps you can only get an erection for a short amount of time or you can’t maintain an erection at all, or maybe you can’t keep it up long enough to have sexual intercourse or ejaculate.

Otherwise known as impotence, this problem can happen to most guys from time to time, so it’s up to you to decide when normality breeches abnormality. The most important thing to remember is that ED is not a disease, but rather a symptom of some other problem – physical, psychological or a combination of the two. By targeting the cause itself, you can eventually overcome ED.

Some of the causes of ED can include:

  • Performance anxiety
  • General stress, anxiety or depression
  • General aging
  • Diseases that affect blood flow such as hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Smoking, alcoholism or substance abuse
  • Excess weight and obesity

How are they different?

PE and ED often get confused, but they are actually quite different: PE is when you have lost control of your ejaculation timing, while ED is when you have trouble getting or maintaining an erection in the first place. PE is more common in younger men, whereas ED is more common in older men. While the road to diagnosis is the same, the treatment is very different.

How do I get diagnosed?

For either issue, the process for diagnosis is the same: seek professional advice from your doctor. After all, they are the middleman between you and any specialist – so let them be the judge of whether you should take things further.

Prior to your appointment, see if you can keep a logbook of your past few sexual experiences. Did you get it up? If so, how long did you last? How frequently did the same problem occur? Does it seem to be worse after a big night?

After examining your medical history and physical health, your doctor might ask you to get a blood test to check your testosterone levels. Depending on these results, your doctor might then refer you to a urologist or a mental health professional that specializes in sexual dysfunction.

How do I fix it?

The benefit to having a health condition that affects many men, such as PE and ED, is that medical professionals have dedicated time and resources into developing multiple treatments. For either problem, there are a number of things you can do to fix it.

For ED, the appropriate treatment depends on the cause. Is it psychological or physical? Depending on your personal answer, ED can be treated by counselling, medications, pumps or surgery. By pursuing diagnosis through a healthcare professional, you can pinpoint the cause and rectify the problem.

Whether you’ve been clinically diagnosed, or would simply like more control in the bedroom, PE can be treated with Prolong: a device and control training program that enhances duration – and the only FDA-cleared climax control training device on the market. In fact, clinical studies have shown that men who continued using the device and the control training program — a 30-minute training session, 3 times a week for 6 weeks — had a median increase in time of ejaculation by three minutes. By the end of week six, the results also showed improved sexual satisfaction for both the men and their partners.

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