What is Premature Ejaculation?
The most common description of Premature Ejaculation (PE) is ejaculation that occurs before both partners would like in a majority of sexual encounters, leading to worry, stress, or concern. For some men, premature ejaculation may materialize in all manner of sexual encounters, including masturbation. In other men, PE surfaces only during sexual encounters with a partner.
While no medical standard exists for how long a man should take to ejaculate, some commonly observed symptoms of premature ejaculation include:
- The inability of a man to control his ejaculation.
- Ejaculating before he is ready to or has satisfied his partner.
- Ejaculating before penetration, upon penetration. or shortly thereafter.
How Common is PE?
Premature Ejaculation is a very common form of male sexual dysfunction. Premature ejaculation is the most common instance of sexual dysfunction for men under 40 years of age, and recent estimates conclude that up to 1 in 3 sexually active men are affected by the problem to some degree.
What Causes PE?
Premature Ejaculation is usually caused by a combination of an oversensitive glans penis (or head of the penis), and nervousness or performance anxiety during lovemaking. Fear of not being able to satisfy a sexual partner, which is common, often stems from previous experiences of premature ejaculation. Subsequent, similar episodes can perpetuate the problem.
Some biological causes of PE include:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid issues
- Neurotransmitter abnormalities
- Abnormal reflex activity of the ejaculatory system
- Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
- Genetic abnormalities
PE can also occur in association with Erectile Dysfunction. In these cases, treatment often focuses on ED as the primary problem, with the aim of treating PE secondarily.
What Other Adverse Effects Result From PE?
- Relationship Difficulties: Perhaps the most frequent patient complaint is the stress that PE causes in relationships. Especially in the initial stages, PE often leads to a lack of communication, internalized guilt and resentment.
- National Health and Social Life Survey, Laumann et al JAMMA, 1999, pp 281-540
- Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Urology