How to talk to your doctor about premature ejaculation

This article was written by the Health Xchange editor, with expert input from the Department of Urology at Singapore General Hospital. It was first posted on 29th September 2011.

Premature ejaculation is more common than erectile dysfunction, but it is less talked about because there wasn’t any medicine readily available until recently.

The situation changed in March this year with the launch of Priligy, a pill able to prolong the length of intercourse up to three times.

So men now have an option for premature ejaculation (PE), but they must be willing to discuss their problem with a medical practitioner. Not necessarily an easy task, is it?

We asked Dr Lim Kok Bin, visiting consultant at Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Urology, for advice on how to broach the delicate topic whilst at the doctor’s office.

Most men won’t talk about premature ejaculation

Some 77 per cent of Singaporean men with PE have never mentioned their problem to a doctor, according to the Premature Ejaculation Prevalence and Attitudes (PEPA) survey.

“Men are more likely to discuss erectile dysfunction, because of the awareness effort put in by drug companies over the last decade,” says Dr Lim, who also practises at Raffles Hospital’s UroRenal Centre.

What’s holding most men back? The previous lack of effective treatment for PE and, of course, the stigma, answers Dr Lim. Also, “most men with PE tend to have it since young. As their problem does not stop them from impregnating their partner — unlike erectile dysfunction — they may not feel the urgency to address the issue.”

Related article: What is erectile dysfunction?

Currently, a number of men have come forward because of the new drug Priligy. “About half of my PE patients come out of their own accord; the other half is driven by their partner,” mentions Dr Lim.

How to talk to your doctor if you suffer from premature ejaculation:

Bring up the topic right at the beginning of the visit. Don’t worry about using the right “medical” terms.
Find a Premature Ejaculation Questionnaire online, print the results and take them with you. Alternatively, you could print some relevant article – like this one – to show your doctor.
If it helps, you can readily admit your discomfort by saying: “It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’d like to talk about a sexual problem.”
Take your partner along for support or help in answering the questions you may be asked.
Have a list of the conditions you are treated for or had in the past. Include your current medications and any recent health check results.
Rest assured that your physician has heard it all before. It’s virtually impossible to shock a doctor.
If anything, many doctors in Singapore have worked and received medical training in Western countries, where male patients are more forthcoming. “Western men will be frank and provide information about whether they are heterosexual, homosexual or even bisexual,” says Dr Lim, who was trained in the UK and Canada.

What you need to remember is that a doctor with a solid holistic approach will be glad to help you improve your quality of life, says Dr Lim. However, physicians are not mind-readers, so chances are, you will have to take the first step and bring up the topic.

Related article: Male ageing and sex

A final word about buying pills online: “A lot of the pills sold on the internet do contain active ingredients found in the actual medicine. The problem is that these pills may contain other ingredients that might interact with each other and cause unwanted and sometimes detrimental side effects,” cautions Dr Lim.

Dr Tan’s Comments:

Just be matter-of-fact about it. Say ‘Doc I think I have PE’ and the doctor will take over the conversation from there with all the relevant questions. PE is a medical condition. It therefore has to be approached like any other medical condition in a systematic, scientific and holistic manner.

I saw many comments for this original article making light of PE. I absolutely agree that PE is not a disease per se. However, if it is affecting one’s self confidence or if it is affecting a couple’s sex life which in turn affects their relationship/marriage, then it does become an issue that needs to be addressed. Not all men with PE will need medication.

So if you think you have PE, see your doctor and trust in his/her professionalism.

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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Need more advice?

Dr. Tan and Partners @Novena (Men’s Health Clinic)


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#08-31, Novena Medical Centre
Singapore 307506

+65 6397 2095

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Related Topics:

  1. Penile Discharge (Should I be Worried?)
  2. Frenulum Breve and Penile Frenulectomy
  3. Warts
  4. Molluscum
  5. HIV Symptoms
  6. Syphilis
  7. Herpes
  8. STDs General Info
  9. Premature Ejaculation
  10. Erectile Dysfunction


  1. Satheesh

    Hello Dr. Tan,

    I know I suffer from delayed ejaculation based on my experiences. I am unable to ejaculate during intercourse but I am able to ejaculate within 2-3 minutes while mastubating. I have tried various sexual positions. Also , I am not stressed out or am I tensed about my work or my life. Does this have a cure at all? I am in my early 30s


    • drtan

      It sounds more like a psychological issue than a physical one. You should consider seeing a counselor or better yet, a sexologist.

      • Satheesh

        Thank you..

        Any recommendations?
        WOuld it be better if I do a testosterone and/or thyroid hormone test?

  2. Hi Dr Tan.

    When taking Priligy – alcohol is to be avoided. Is there a reason why? Does it negate the effects of Priligy or is this just a ‘general guideline’ while taking meds?

    If it does negate, how many hours should i stop my drinking prior to taking the priligy? (or should i totally avoid)


    • The effects of alcohol such as having slower reactions, dizziness, sleepiness may be increased if you take it with Priligy. It also increases your chance of fainting or blacking out, therefore put your life at risk.
      There is no hard and fast rule regarding how many hours you should stop drinking prior to taking priligy. Best is to avoid it taking it altogether if you are going to take Priligy.

  3. Hi doc,

    I have problems ejaculating during sex. Sex can be frustrating as I cannot ejaculate even after 30-45mins of sex. Although my partner never complained but I feel that if I were to have a kid, this is a potential issue. Are there treatment for delayed ejaculation?
    I have no problems ejaculating during masturbation. Tks.

    • Hi Ron,

      We’ll need to establish what your delayed orgasms are due to in order to help.They could be caused by anything from diabetes to testosterone deficiency. Please feel free to visit one of our branches for a review and discussion.

  4. Derrick

    Doctor how long one priligy longlast in the bed. I am even unable to do 2 minutes. myself and girlfriend worries about this. what will be cost of the priligy?

    • Hi Derrick,

      Priligy works by progressively increasing the duration of intercourse, and the effect improves with continued use of the medication. There’s no fixed increased in duration per pill, and effects will vary from patient to patient. Feel free to come by for a consult and we can determine the best course of action for you. Do contact us at 68844119 for further information.

  5. Ok Dr. I will come.

    But I would like to check with you. One of the forum, you recommended priligy is available for PE , which is cost of 3 pills $54. The pills having any side effect like low auger and high blood pressure.

    Will it possible to cure PE?

    • Priligy has no side effects on blood pressure. The most common side effect is nausea which is rare at 30mg. There is no cure for PE. Priligy only helps to temporarily improve the condition.

  6. Dr.
    I would like to take Priligy pill. May I know detail of availability of this pills

    • Please come to either of our clinics anytime during our opening hours. Our doctor will see you and prescribe you the pills.

  7. Hi Dr. Tan,

    I understand from your reply somewhere, that there is a cure for PE, can I know how much will it cost roughly for the treatment and everything?

    I am thinking to visit your clinic soon, but just wanted to get rough cost.

    Ps: I am currently taking priligy few times and it worked great.

    • I think you must have been mistaken. There is no cure for PE. PE is not a disease. It is a lifestyle choice. It usually gets better with age. The best thing for you to do now is to continue taking Priligy as and when you need it.

  8. M. mshn

    Hi, sir I lost my sexual power my age is 30 so can u gve me any suggest or can I visit ur clinic pls reply…

    • I really do not know what you mean by losing your ‘sexual power’ You are welcome to see me at the clinic anytime. Please post follow up questions on

  9. Hello Doctor

    Im really happy to find such internet forums. I’m from Singapore. I think I have PE problem. I barely last 5 minutes. Is it curable with Priligy medication? If I visit your clinic can you help with medications? If you prescribe medications should I take life long?


  10. hi,
    can i speak to any GP about this PE issues?
    or its better to talk to a specific group of medical practioners? specialist?


    • Yes GPs can normally handle PE issues. If your GP has any problems dealing with it he will refer you to the appropriate specialist. Please post any follow up questions on

  11. My penis isn’t small. with an erection, I am around 6inch. I’ve never measured without. however, whenever I work out or get cold or go swimming, or some usual days my package shrinks. but mine get’s way smaller than everyone else’s.

    It’s just embarassing when I’m at the gym or the beach or whatever and I have to change in front of people because it gets so small and everyone else’s barely gets smaller. please tell me is this a curable problem…i humbly expect your response on this… its my life sir …

    Thank you,
    J xx

  12. Hi. I have a problem.. Can email me pls not really want to talk in the public. Thank. I will be waiting thanks

    • We do not provide email consults. You can visit us at the clinic.

  13. hello sir, my name is vimal jain my age is 30 i had a problem of premature ejaculation can u able to suggest some medicine

    • PE is a very common problem. We cannot suggest or prescribe medicines over the internet. This forum is not for medical consultations. Please see us or your doctor for more advice and a possible prescription.


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