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A healthy sex life can increase your confidence, reduce stress, and help you sleep better at night. But problems with stamina, premature ejaculation, or other sexual performance issues can be both frustrating and embarrassing.
If you are experiencing any changes to your sexual performance or you’re unable to maintain an erection during an entire sexual encounter, you may be asking yourself — how can I last longer in bed?
The truth is that diagnosing the cause of these changes can be challenging sometimes. These issues may resolve naturally over time, or they could possibly indicate a larger, underlying medical issue.
There are several treatment options that you can try out on your own or you can consider reaching out to your doctor to discuss your options, too.
There are a number of reasons you might not be lasting as long in bed as you would like. Experts believe there can be both emotional and physical reasons.
You may be experiencing premature ejaculation (PE), which causes ejaculation to happen sooner than you or your partner would like, or you may be experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), which causes difficulty becoming erect or keeping an erection long enough to have penetrative sex.
PE and ED are two very separate conditions and in order to address the “how to last longer in bed” question, it’s important to establish which of the two (or possibly both concurrently) conditions you have. For example, someone may not have any trouble becoming erect but find that they are reaching climax much faster than usual — indicating PE and not ED.
If someone is having difficulties becoming erect, it could be difficult to tell if PE is also a concern until they are able to stay erect throughout sex. In this case, that person would want to explore and prioritize ED treatments first since ED and PE treatments are often very different. In this case, once ED is treated, PE may no longer be a problem.
The duration of sex varies and can be very difficult to define when you include elements like foreplay, how long it may take both partners to reach completion, and other activities that can extend the length of a sexual encounter.
Scientifically speaking, research shows that, on average, it takes a person with a penis about
It’s also worth noting that the couples in this study were all heterosexual and had been involved in stable relationships for at least 6 months.
However, these estimations are based on an average range and don’t necessarily account for the time needed for a partner to also reach climax. In these instances, sex may last longer.
Stress, anxiety, and depression can all contribute to ED. A number of underlying health conditions like sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as ADHD and other mental health conditions, can also be culprits. You may not even know you have one of these conditions.
Age may also be a factor. The likelihood of ED increases with age, but experts
Prescription medication can help improve erection quality and sexual performance by increasing blood flow to the penis. Prescription ED medications include:
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- avanafil (Stendra)
- vardenafil (Levitra)
- tadalafil (Cialis)
- Roman ED, which offers some of the medications above
- Hims ED, which offers some of the medications above
As with all prescription medications, they come with some risks. ED medications can lead to numerous side effects. For a quick rundown on what you might experience, check out this article.
Generally speaking, flushing, headaches, visual changes, upset stomach, and nasal congestion are associated with ED medications. In some cases, side effects can be dangerous for people taking nitrate drugs or blood thinners, or those with heart problems and diabetes.
Natural solutions may not present the same risks or drug interactions, and some may actually improve overall health.
1. Quit smoking
Managing your weight and getting regular exercise can improve your sexual performance. By fine-tuning your cardiovascular health, you could be building bedroom endurance as well.
Though you may assume that ED is a result of your biology or physical health, there is a frequent connection seen between ED and mental health. In many cases, ED can stem from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions — all of which can benefit from therapy and meeting with a mental health professional.
However, it can be a case of “chicken or the egg” when trying to determine the cause. According to a 2018 meta-analysis on the subject, some people who were experiencing depression were more at risk for ED, while others currently with ED were at a higher risk of depression.
Acupuncture is a treatment method of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that’s been practiced for over 2,500 years. The practice of inserting small needles into certain points across the body is said to stimulate the nervous system and affect natural opioids and hormones.
Research into the use of acupuncture to treat ED is limited. Only small studies are currently available, but some results seem promising.
In fact, a
Despite its limited evidence as an ED treatment, there are still other benefits that are believed to come from acupuncture, like stress and chronic pain reduction, that can better your overall wellness and may be worth considering.
5. Talk with your doctor about underlying health conditions
As mentioned before, ED can be a symptom of a number of serious health conditions, like sleep apnea, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems. Make an appointment with your doctor for a physical to determine if ED is a sign of something more serious.
DHEA helps create sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Natural DHEA levels decrease as a person gets older. While
Side effects of DHEA can include:
- irregular heartbeat
Yohimbine is the main component of bark from Pausinystalia yohimbe trees. It’s known to be an aphrodisiac.
Plus, studies have linked yohimbine with serious side effects, including heart attacks and seizures. Other side effects include stomach problems, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
Yohimbine hydrochloride, a different form of yohimbine, is available as a prescription drug for ED. This is a different product than dietary supplements made from tree bark.
Horny goat weed
Epimedium grandiflorum, also known as horny goat weed, is a traditional remedy for increasing fertility. But there’s not enough evidence to support its use.
This supplement is often well-tolerated. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, and dry mouth.
If you start noticing regular symptoms of ED or a loss of libido, make an appointment with your doctor.
Talk with a urologist about PE if you almost always ejaculate within 1 minute of beginning intercourse or if you’re almost always unable to delay ejaculation when you want to.
As mentioned above, ED can be caused by underlying health conditions that may need to be treated before you get back to your usual sex life.
Why can’t I last longer in bed?
If you are finding that you are unable to become erect or lose your erection too early, the most likely cause is ED.
However, pinpointing what is causing your ED symptoms isn’t always an easy task. Anyone with a penis can experience difficulties maintaining an erection from time to time, especially during periods of heightened stress, depression, or sudden or significant changes to your lifestyle or diet.
If you are experiencing ED symptoms several times per week over a period of a month or two, it may be worth talking with your doctor.
ED can occur from a buildup of the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzyme that can impact blood flow and ultimately interfere with blood flow to the penis. If your doctor believes this is the cause of your symptoms, medications like Viagra or sildenafil — also known as PDE5 inhibitors — can work to block PDE5 from distributing blood flow.
Are there pills that can help me stay hard longer?
There are several FDA-approved pills that treat ED. These include sildenafil (Viagra), avanafil (Stendra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra). These medications are used to counter the symptoms of ED and assist in restoring blood flow to the penis.
There are also supplements that advertise improved stamina, stiffer erections, and increased sex drive, but scientific data on their efficacy is often mixed or missing entirely.
Many people will experience concerns in the bedroom at some point in their lives. The good news is that it can be highly treatable.
The first step is to contact a doctor to help you troubleshoot the root cause. There are FDA-approved medications to treat erectile dysfunction. There are also many herbal supplements to help you last longer in bed, but certain lifestyle measures can often yield positive results.