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Vibrator-assisted start-stop exercises in conjunction with body awareness training improve premature ejaculation symptoms: a randomized waiting list controlled study

Ventus, D1; Gunst, A2; Arver, S3; Dhejne, C3; Görts Öberg, K3; Zamore-Söderström, E4; Jern, P5

1: Department of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, Finland; 2: Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland; 3: Anova, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden, and Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; 4: Anova, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden; 5: Department of Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, Finland, and Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Finland


Objective(s); Premature ejaculation (PE) is associated with decreased quality of life, lower confidence and self-esteem, and more depression, anxiety and interpersonal difficulties. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are considered first-line agents for treatment of PE, but discontinuations rates for drug therapy are high, mostly due to side effects and/or poor effectiveness. Therefore, alternative treatment protocols are needed, but research on non-pharmacological treatments remains scarce. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of vibrator-assisted start-stop exercises for treatment of PE, and if the treatment effect can be enhanced by additional training of body awareness.

Material and Method(s); All prospective participants were screened by telephone for the following: participants had to be at least 18 years old, ejaculate within 3 minutes after penetration, not experience erectile problems that hinder penetrative sex or masturbation, not suffer from multiple sclerosis, and not use medication that may affect ejaculation latency time, such as SSRI and opioids. Further, to be eligible for inclusion, participants had to have intercourse with a partner during participation in the study. Fifty participants were included in a six-week intervention, including two visits to the clinic and exercises to be completed at home. Participants were randomized in to three groups: 1) vibrator-assisted start-stop exercises, 2) vibrator-assisted start-stop exercises and body awareness training, and 3) waiting list control group. All measures were self-report questionnaires.

Result(s); The interventions alleviated PE symptoms with large and likely clinically significant effect sizes (partial η2 = .20 across the three groups, Cohen’s d = 1.05-1.07 for treatment groups compared to waiting list control group). Effects were sustained after three and six months. Additional body awareness training did not further alleviate PE, but did decrease PE-associated negative symptoms such as levels of sexual distress, anxiety, depression, and improved erectile function.

Conclusion(s); Vibrator-assisted start-stop exercises can be used to treat PE, showing similar or superior effectiveness compared to pharmacological treatment, but with long-term sustained treatment effects and no side effects.


Work supported by industry: no.

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