Some doctors use behavioral therapy to help treat men's premature ejaculation. But a new study reveals this may be ineffective.
According to ABC, a review of previously published studies found insufficient proof that therapy actually helps men last longer. This is unfortunate, as experts think up to 90% of premature ejaculation cases have some psychological component. Some doctors continue to stand by therapy, and the authors of the recent review note that some studies do support its use — they're just too small to be conclusive. Says study coauthor Dr. Stanley Althof,
We've got a lot of studies out there and, by and large, the majority show that most people are helped by psychotherapy. But the studies didn't meet the bar for evidence-based research that's set very high these days. We really need to move into the 21st century with the kind of research we do.
So psychotherapy could help, but nobody's really done the work to conclusively prove that it does. Which isn't surprising, since treatment for premature ejaculation exists at the nexus of two very difficult areas of research: sex and psychology. Sex is notoriously hard to study — both acquiring funding and getting accurate data about people's bedroom habits can be extremely tough. And systematic testing of psychotherapeutic approaches remains controversial. The result: if it involves the connection between your brain and your genitals, chances are it's not very well studied. Says Althof, "This isn't about just enhancing your sex life or making you a better lover. This is about helping men or women with real problems." But of course, sex problems are real problems, and the sooner science recognizes that, the better off we'll be.
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