Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 10/07/2020
Tired of dealing with premature ejaculation? You’re not alone. Premature ejaculation is a common sexual issue for men, affecting about one in every three men at some point in life.
Premature ejaculation (or PE) can occur for a variety of reasons, from anxiety about ejaculating early to physical issues such as penile sensitivity, hormonal fluctuations and inflammation of the urethra or prostate.
Today, we’re delving into home remedies for premature ejaculation. We hear about them all the time, but do they really work?
Like most sexual disorders, there are a variety of treatments for premature ejaculation. Some, such as lidocaine delay spray, work by physically desensitizing the penis. Others, such as sertraline and other SSRIs, work by changing the way your brain behaves during sexual activity.
There are also countless home remedies for premature ejaculation. Below, we’ve listed several of the most common home-based PE treatments, as well as the scientific evidence to back up each one.
While we won’t say definitively that there are foods to cure premature ejaculation, we will say comfortably that there’s some scientific evidence out there to back certain foods’ impacts on libido, PE and sexual health.
Foods that are rich in zinc and magnesium are linked to some improvements in sexual health, from boosting testosterone (one of several hormones responsible for an optimal sex drive) to potentially improving your endurance and energy.
There’s also some evidence that being deficient in magnesium could affect your sexual health, contributing to premature ejaculation.
In a 2001 study, researchers compared the magnesium content in the sperm of normal, healthy men with the sperm of men with premature ejaculation. The researchers found that the men with premature ejaculation had lower levels of magnesium in their sperm than their peers.
Although there’s no direct, causal link between low seminal magnesium levels and premature ejaculation, the researchers believe that low magnesium levels could lead to vasoconstriction, affecting sexual performance and contributing to PE.
The solution? Magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, as some types of fish (like salmon). These foods also tend to be rich in zinc, leading to increased levels of two of the most important minerals for optimal sexual health.
There are all types of premature ejaculation pills and supplements out there, but the question, as always, is: Do they work?
Supplements, particularly those that contain zinc, are often recommended online as a treatment for premature ejaculation.
While there’s some evidence that zinc can increase testosterone and produce a stronger libido (in a 2000 study, researchers observed a noticeable increase in free and total testosterone in men who used a zinc supplement), there’s no evidence that it specifically treats PE.
Does this mean a zinc supplement isn’t helpful? Of course not. Zinc is one of the most important minerals for men. Just don’t expect it—or any other premature ejaculation pills and supplements—to increase your ejaculation time, especially without other types treatment.
Masturbating before sex is a common method of increasing ejaculation time and treating premature ejaculation.
Thought the exact science is behind it is relatively un-tested, the pre-sex masturbation method is thought to work by putting your body in its refractory period — a short period between orgasms in which you’ll find it more difficult to orgasm again.
Timing is important here. While waiting an hour might make having sex easy, it’s important to provide enough time for your body to partially recover in order to avoid erectile dysfunction.
Like most home remedies for premature ejaculation, there’s no real scientific evidence to back up the claim that masturbating before sex improves sexual performance. However, lots of guys swear by this method for increasing ejaculation time.
Beyond masturbation, there are several other techniques for improving sexual performance and treating PE. We’ve covered two of the most common—the “stop-start” and “squeeze” strategies—below.
The “stop-start” strategy is a simple way to avoid ejaculating early. It involves stopping movement when you feel an orgasm approaching, then starting again once you’re confident you aren’t about to ejaculate.
Performed right, the stop-start strategy can help you last longer in bed without using medication to delay orgasm. However, it’s important to get the timing right. Stop too late and there’s a real risk that you could orgasm early, rendering the strategy ineffective. Continuing before you’re confident you’re not about to orgasm could also create significant risk of early climax.
Science tends to back up the effectiveness of the stop-start strategy. In one study, researchers found that while long-term results weren’t conclusive, short-term improvements were reported by 45 to 65 percent of men who used the technique.
The “squeeze’ technique is another technique for treating premature ejaculation. Just like the stop-start strategy, it’s been in use since the 1950s. Using the squeeze technique is simple—just gently squeeze the base of your penis as you feel yourself approaching orgasm.
While there’s no specific length of time to squeeze your penis, most sources suggest about 30 seconds. Like the stop-start technique, the squeeze technique can be used as many times as you’d like during sex, letting you delay ejaculation for a fairly long period of time.
Now, does the squeeze technique really work? Like the stop-start strategy, there’s not a lot of long-term scientific data on the squeeze its effectiveness. However, it’s been a widely recommended tactic since the 1950s and an anecdotal favorite for men affected by PE.
If you’d prefer not to change your eating habits or use techniques to delay ejaculation, you might be able to increase your ejaculation time and avoid PE using special condoms.
Extended pleasure condoms like Durex Performax® or Trojan Extended Pleasure® contain topical anesthetics that numb your penis when worn. During sex, this means you’ll feel a slightly less intense sensation, helping you avoid accidentally orgasming too early.
While there’s no direct scientific proof that these condoms can treat premature ejaculation, there is evidence that benzocaine—the active ingredient in most extended pleasure condoms—helps men last longer before ejaculating.
In a 2017 study, men with an average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) of two minutes or less experienced an average increase of 231.5 seconds after using topical benzocaine wipes for two months.
It’s also possible to delay ejaculation by using a thicker condom, which reduces sensation and helps you avoid orgasming too early.
Beyond mineral-rich foods, prevention techniques and other home remedies, there are several science-backed ways to treat premature ejaculation. Some effective treatments include:
Lidocaine sprays, which reduce sensitivity and help you avoid orgasming too early without requiring you to wear a condom. Our guide to lidocaine spray for premature ejaculation goes into more detail on how this type of spray works.
Lidocaine creams, which work similarly to lidocaine sprays. Our guide to the main differences between lidocaine spray and cream compares these two treatments on effectiveness, convenience and other factors.
Sertraline, which is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Sertraline can delay orgasm in men with PE, making it one of several medications used to treat premature ejaculation.
Premature ejaculation can be frustrating and stressful, both for you and for your partner. It can affect everything from your sexual self-confidence to your relationship as a whole. Luckily, it’s a treatable condition that you don’t need to live with forever.
Our Premature Ejaculation 101 guide goes into more detail on how premature ejaculation can occur, as well as the factors used to diagnose PE. You can also learn more about treating PE in our guide to stopping premature ejaculation using science-backed treatments.
Far as home remedies for premature ejaculation are concerned… We can’t say, but we do think there are certainly certain things you can do at home to help with PE issues.
Need help finding your way back into the bedroom groove? We have stuff for that, too.
Insider tips, early access and more.