Premature ejaculation (PE) occurs when a man experiences orgasm and expels semen soon after sexual activity and with minimal penile stimulation. It has also been called early ejaculation, rapid ejaculation, rapid climax, premature climax and (historically) ejaculatio praecox. There is no uniform cut-off defining "premature", but a consensus of experts at the International Society for Sexual Medicine endorsed a definition of around one minute after penetration. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) applies a cut-off of 15 seconds from the beginning of sexual intercourse.
Although men with premature ejaculation describe feeling that they have less control over ejaculating, it is not clear if that is true, and many or most average men also report that they wish they could last longer. Men's typical ejaculatory latency is approximately 4–8 minutes. The opposite condition is delayed ejaculation.
Men with PE often report emotional and relationship distress, and some avoid pursuing sexual relationships because of PE-related embarrassment. Compared with men, women consider PE less of a problem, but several studies show that the condition also causes female partners distress.
The causes of premature ejaculation are unclear. Many theories have been suggested, including that PE was the result of masturbating quickly during adolescence to avoid being caught, performance anxiety, an unresolved Oedipal conflict, passive-aggressiveness or having too little sex; but there is little evidence to support any of these theories.
Several physiological mechanisms have been hypothesized to contribute to causing premature ejaculation, including serotonin receptors, a genetic predisposition, elevated penile sensitivity and nerve conduction atypicalities.
The nucleus paragigantocellularis of the brain has been identified as having involvement in ejaculatory control. Scientists have long suspected a genetic link to certain forms of premature ejaculation. However, studies have been inconclusive in isolating the gene responsible for Lifelong PE. Other researchers have noted that men who have premature ejaculation have a faster neurological response in the pelvic muscles.
The physical process of ejaculation requires two actions: emission and expulsion. The emission is the first phase. It involves deposition of fluid from the ampullary vas deferens, seminal vesicles and prostate gland into the posterior urethra. The second phase is the expulsion phase. It involves closure of bladder neck, followed by the rhythmic contractions of the urethra by pelvic-perineal and bulbospongiosus muscle and intermittent relaxation of external urethral sphincters.
Sympathetic motor neurons control the emission phase of ejaculation reflex, and expulsion phase is executed by somatic and autonomic motor neurons. These motor neurons are located in the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral spinal cord and are activated in a coordinated manner when sufficient sensory input to reach the ejaculatory threshold has entered the central nervous system.
Current evidence supports an average intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) of six and a half minutes in 18- to 30-year-olds. If the disorder is defined as an IELT percentile below 2.5, then premature ejaculation could be suggested by an IELT of less than about two minutes. Nevertheless, it is possible that men with abnormally low IELTs could be satisfied with their performance and do not report a lack of control. Likewise, those with higher IELTs may consider themselves premature ejaculators, suffer from detrimental side effects normally associated with premature ejaculation, and even benefit from treatment.
Premature ejaculation as a medical problem under evidence-based criteria generated by the International Society for Sexual Medicine in 2014 as being not the result of a nonsexual mental illness, a problem in a given relationship, or caused by medication, by the person ejaculating around a minute after penetration and before the person wants to ejaculate, occurring for a duration longer than 6 months and happening almost every time, and causing significant distress for person. These factors are identified by talking with the person, not through any diagnostic test.
Several treatments have been tested for treating premature ejaculation. A combination of medication and non-medication treatments is often the most effective method.
Many men attempt to treat themselves for premature ejaculation by trying to distract themselves, such as by trying to focus their attention away from the sexual stimulation. There is little evidence to indicate that it is effective and it tends to detract from the sexual fulfilment of both partners. Other self-treatments include thrusting more slowly, withdrawing the penis altogether, purposefully ejaculating before sexual intercourse, and using more than one condom. Using more than one condom is not recommended as the friction will often lead to breakage. Some men report these to have been helpful.
By the 21st century, most men with premature ejaculation could cure themselves, either on their own or with a partner, using self-help resources, and only those with unusually severe problems had to consult sex therapists, who cured 75 to 80 percent.
Freudian theory postulated that rapid ejaculation was a symptom of underlying neurosis. It stated that the man suffers unconscious hostility toward women, so he ejaculates rapidly, which satisfies him but frustrates his lover, who is unlikely to experience orgasm that quickly. Freudians claimed that premature ejaculation could be cured using psychoanalysis. But even years of psychoanalysis accomplished little, if anything, in curing premature ejaculation.
There is no evidence that men with premature ejaculation harbor unusual hostility toward women.
Several techniques have been developed and applied by sex therapists, including Kegel exercises (to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor) and Masters and Johnson's "stop-start technique" (to desensitize the man's responses) and "squeeze technique" (to reduce excessive arousal).:27
To treat premature ejaculation, Masters and Johnson developed the "squeeze technique", based on the Semans technique developed by Dr. James Semans in 1956.  Men were instructed to pay close attention to their arousal pattern and learn to recognize how they felt shortly before their "point of no return", the moment ejaculation felt imminent and inevitable. Sensing it, they were to signal their partner, who squeezed the head of the penis between thumb and index finger, suppressing the ejaculatory reflex and allowing the man to last longer.
The squeeze technique worked, but many couples found it cumbersome. From the 1970s to the 1990s, sex therapists refined the Masters and Johnson approach, largely abandoning the squeeze technique and focused on a simpler and more effective technique called the "stop-start" technique. During intercourse, as the man senses he is approaching climax, both partners stop moving and remain still until the man's feelings of ejaculatory inevitability subside, at which point, they are free to resume active intercourse.
These techniques appear to work for around half of people, in the short term studies that had been done as of 2017.:27
Drugs that increase serotonin signalling in the brain slow ejaculation and have been used successfully to treat PE. These include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as paroxetine or dapoxetine, as well as clomipramine. Ejaculatory delay typically begins within a week of beginning medication. The treatments increase the ejaculatory delay to 6–20 times greater than before medication. Men often report satisfaction with treatment by medication, and many discontinue it within a year. However, SSRIs can cause various types of sexual dysfunction such as anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction, and diminished libido.
Desensitizing topical medications like lidocaine that are applied to the tip and shaft of the penis can also be used. These are applied "as needed", 10–15 minutes before sexual activity and have fewer potential systemic side effects as compared to pills. Use of topicals is sometimes disliked due to the reduction of sensation in the penis as well as for the partner (due to the medication rubbing onto the partner).
Premature ejaculation is a prevalent sexual dysfunction in men; however, because of the variability in time required to ejaculate and in partners' desired duration of sex, exact prevalence rates of PE are difficult to determine. In the "Sex in America" surveys (1999 and 2008), University of Chicago researchers found that between adolescence and age 59, approximately 30% of men reported having experienced PE at least once during the previous 12 months, whereas about 10 percent reported erectile dysfunction (ED). Although ED is men's most prevalent sex problem after age 60, and may be more prevalent than PE overall according to some estimates, premature ejaculation remains a significant issue that, according to the survey, affects 28 percent of men age 65–74, and 22 percent of men age 75–85. Other studies report PE prevalence ranging from 3 percent to 41 percent of men over 18, but the great majority estimate a prevalence of 20 to 30 percent—making PE a very common sex problem.
There is a common misconception that younger men are more likely to suffer premature ejaculation and that its frequency decreases with age. Prevalence studies have indicated, however, that rates of PE are constant across age groups.
Male mammals ejaculate quickly during intercourse, prompting some biologists to speculate that rapid ejaculation had evolved into men's genetic makeup to increase their chances of passing their genes.
Ejaculatory control issues have been documented for more than 1,500 years. The Kamasutra, the 4th century Indian sex handbook, declares: "Women love the man whose sexual energy lasts a long time, but they resent a man whose energy ends quickly because he stops before they reach a climax."[non-primary source needed] Waldinger summarizes professional perspectives from early in the twentieth century.
Sex researcher Alfred Kinsey did not consider rapid ejaculation a problem, but viewed it as a sign of "masculine vigor" that could not always be cured. The belief that it should be considered a disease rather than a normal variation has also been disputed by some modern researchers.
- Serefoglu, EC; McMahon, CG; Waldinger, MD; Althof, SE; Shindel, A; Adaikan, G; Becher, EF; Dean, J; Giuliano, F; Hellstrom, WJ; Giraldi, A; Glina, S; Incrocci, L; Jannini, E; McCabe, M; Parish, S; Rowland, D; Segraves, RT; Sharlip, I; Torres, LO (June 2014). "An evidence-based unified definition of lifelong and acquired premature ejaculation: report of the second international society for sexual medicine ad hoc committee for the definition of premature ejaculation". Sexual medicine. 2 (2): 41–59. doi:10.1002/sm2.27. PMC . PMID 25356301.
- Strassberg, D. S., & Perelman, M. A. (2009). Sexual dysfunctions. In P. H. Blaney & T. Millon (Eds.), Oxford textbook of psychopathology (2nd ed.), (pp. 399–430). NY: Oxford University Press.
- Jern Patrick; et al. (2007). "Premature and delayed ejaculation: Genetic and environmental effects in a population‐based sample of Finnish twins". The journal of sexual medicine. 4 (6): 1739–1749. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00599.x.
- Barnes T.; I. Eardley (2007). "Premature Ejaculation: The Scope of the Problem". Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. 33 (3): 151–170. doi:10.1080/00926230601098472. PMID 17365515.
- Byers, E.S.; G. Grenier (2003). "Premature or Rapid Ejaculation: Heterosexual Couples' Perceptions of Men's Ejaculatory Behavior". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 32 (3): 261–70. doi:10.1023/A:1023417718557. PMID 12807298.
- Limoncin, E.; et al. (2013). "Premature Ejaculation Results in Female Sexual Distress: Standardization and Validation of a New Diagnostic Tool for Sexual Distress". Journal of Urology. 189 (5): 1830–5. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2012.11.007. PMID 23142691.
- Graziottin, A.; S. Althof (2011). "What Does Premature Ejaculation Mean to the Man, the Woman, and the Couple?". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 8: 304–9. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02426.x. PMID 21967392.
- Althof, S. E. (2007). Treatment of rapid ejaculation: Psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and combined therapy (pp. 212–240). In S. R. Leiblum (Ed.), Principles and practice of sex therapy (4th ed.). NY: Guilford.
- Coolen LM, Olivier B, Peters HJ, Veening JG (1997). "Demonstration of ejaculation-induced neural activity in the male rat brain using 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT". Physiol. Behav. 62 (4): 881–91. doi:10.1016/S0031-9384(97)00258-8. PMID 9284512.
- "Gale - Enter Product Login". go.galegroup.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
- "Gale - Enter Product Login". go.galegroup.com. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
- Althof, S.E.; et al. (2010). "International Society for Sexual Medicine's Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Premature Ejaculation". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 7 (9): 2947–69. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01975.x. PMID 21050394.
- Böhlen D, Hugonnet CL, Mills RD, Weise ES, Schmid HP (2000). "Five meters of H(2)O: the pressure at the urinary bladder neck during human ejaculation". Prostate. 44 (4): 339–41. doi:10.1002/1097-0045(20000901)44:4<339::AID-PROS12>3.0.CO;2-Z. PMID 10951500.
- Master VA, Turek PJ (2001). "Ejaculatory physiology and dysfunction". Urol. Clin. North Am. 28 (2): 363–75, x. doi:10.1016/S0094-0143(05)70145-2. PMID 11402588.
- deGroat WC, Booth AM (1980). "Physiology of male sexual function". Ann. Intern. Med. 92 (2 Pt 2): 329–31. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-2-329. PMID 7356224.
- Truitt WA, Coolen LM (2002). "Identification of a potential ejaculation generator in the spinal cord". Science. 297 (5586): 1566–9. doi:10.1126/science.1073885. PMID 12202834.
- Kinsey, Alfred (1948), Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co
- "Ejaculation delay: what's normal? [July 2005; 137-4]". Archived from the original on 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
- Waldinger MD, Quinn P, Dilleen M, Mundayat R, Schweitzer DH, Boolell M (2005). "A multinational population survey of intravaginal ejaculation latency time". The journal of sexual medicine. 2 (4): 492–7. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2005.00070.x. PMID 16422843.
- Waldinger MD, Zwinderman AH, Olivier B, Schweitzer DH (2005). "Proposal for a definition of lifelong premature ejaculation based on epidemiological stopwatch data". The journal of sexual medicine. 2 (4): 498–507. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2005.00069.x. PMID 16422844.
- Hatzimouratidis, K.; Giuliano, F.; Moncada, I.; Muneer, A.; Salonia, A.; Verze, P.; Parnham, A.; Serefoglu, E.C. (2017). EAU Guidelines on Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, Penile Curvature and Priapism (PDF). European Association of Urology.
- McCabe, M.P. (2001). "Evaluation of a Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program for People with Sexual Dysfunction". Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. 27 (3): 259–71. doi:10.1080/009262301750257119. PMID 11354931.
- Kaplan, Helen S. (1989), PE: How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation, Brunner Mazel/New York Times, p. 28
- Kaplan, Helen S. (1974), The New Sex Therapy, Brunner Mazel/New York Times, p. 295
- Kaplan, Helen S. (1974), The New Sex Therapy, Brunner Mazel, pp. 298–299
- Castleman, M. (2004), Great Sex, Rodale, Inc., pp. 137–138
- Masters, W.; V. Johnson (1970), Human Sexual Inadequacy, Little Brown & Company
- Belliveau, F.; L. Richter (1970), Understanding Human Sexual Inadequacy, Hodder and Stoughton
- Castleman, M. (2004), Great Sex, Rodale, Inc., pp. 136–137
- Kaplan, Helen S. (1989), PE: How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation, Brunner Mazel/New York Times, pp. 48–58
- Metz, M.; B. McCarthy (2003), Coping With Premature Ejaculation, New Harbinger Publications, pp. 123–128
- Silverberg, S. (2010) , Lasting Longer: The Treatment Program for Premature Ejaculation, Physicians Medical Press, pp. 44–57
- Birch. R.W. (2007), A Short Book About Lasting Longer, PEC Publishing, pp. 27–38
- Hutchinson, K; Cruickshank, K; Wylie, K (May 1, 2012). "A benefit-risk assessment of dapoxetine in the treatment of premature ejaculation". Drug safety : an international journal of medical toxicology and drug experience. 35 (5): 359–72. doi:10.2165/11598150-000000000-00000. PMID 22452563.
- McMahon, CG; Althof, SE, Kaufman, JM, Buvat, J, Levine, SB, Aquilina, JW, Tesfaye, F, Rothman, M, Rivas, DA, Porst, H (February 2011). "Efficacy and safety of dapoxetine for the treatment of premature ejaculation: integrated analysis of results from five phase 3 trials". The journal of sexual medicine. 8 (2): 524–39. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.02097.x. PMID 21059176.
- Wong, BL; Malde, S (Jan 2013). "The use of tramadol "on-demand" for premature ejaculation: a systematic review". Urology. 81 (1): 98–103. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2012.08.037. PMID 23102445.
- Porst H (2011). "An overview of pharmacotherapy in premature ejaculation". J Sex Med. 4: 335–41. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02451.x.
- MacCarty E.J.; Dinsmore W.W. (2010). "Premature Ejaculation: Treatment Update". International Journal of STD AIDS. 21: 77–81.
- "Premature ejaculation". Mayo Clinic.com. Retrieved 2007-03-02.
- Laumann, E.O.; et al. (1999). "Sexual Dysfunction in the United States: Prevalence and Predictors". Journal of the American Medical Association. 281 (6): 537–44. doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.537. PMID 10022110.
- Schouten BW, Bohnen AM, Groeneveld FP, Dohle GR, Thomas S, Bosch JL (July 2010). "Next Men's Clinic Erectile dysfunction in the community: trends over time in incidence, prevalence, GP consultation and medication use—the Krimpen study: trends in ED". J Sex Med. 7 (7): 2547–53. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01849.x. PMID 20497307.
- Mathers, M.J.; et al. (2013). "Premature Ejaculation in Urological Routine Practice". Aktuelle Urology (German). 44 (1): 33–9. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1331727. PMID 23381878.
- Serefoglu E.C.; T.R. Saitz (2012). "New Insights on Premature Ejaculation: A Review of Definition, Classification Prevalence, and Treatment". Asian Journal of Andrology. 14 (6): 822–9. doi:10.1038/aja.2012.108. PMC . PMID 23064688.
- Tang, W.S.; E.M. Khoo (2011). "Prevalence and Correlates of Premature Ejaculation in a Primary Care Setting: A Preliminary Cross-Sectional Study". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 8 (7): 2071–8. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02280.x. PMID 21492404.
- Porst, H.; et al. (2007). "The Premature Ejaculation Prevalence and Attitudes (PEPA) Survey: Prevalence, Co-morbidities, and Professional Help-Seeking". European Urology. 51 (3): 816–824. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2006.07.004. PMID 16934919.
- Rowland, D.; et al. (204). "Self-Reported Premature Ejaculation and Aspects of Sexual Functioning and Satisfaction". Journal of Sexual Medicine. 1 (2): 225–32. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2004.04033.x. PMID 16429622.
- Wright, Karen (June 1, 1992). "Evolution of the Orgasm". Discover Magazine.
- Carufel, Francois de (2016). Premature Ejaculation: Theory, Evaluation and Therapeutic Treatment. Taylor & Francis. p. 6. ISBN 9781317280750.
- Vatsyayana, M. (translators) Doniger, W. and Kakar, S. (2009), Kamasutra, Oxford University Press
- Waldinger, Marcel D. (2013). "History of Premature Ejaculation": 5–24. doi:10.1007/978-88-470-2646-9_2.
- Kaplan, Helen S. (1974), The New Sex Therapy, Brunner Mazel/New York Times, p. 292
- Puppo, Vincenzo; Puppo, Giulia (2016-01-01). "Comprehensive review of the anatomy and physiology of male ejaculation: Premature ejaculation is not a disease". Clinical Anatomy. 29 (1): 111–119. doi:10.1002/ca.22655. ISSN 1098-2353. PMID 26457680.
- Hamblin, James (2012). "When Is Ejaculation 'Premature,' and When Should a Penis Be Made Numb?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
According to [Dr. John Mulhall], when we talk casually about premature ejaculation ... we're usually talking about what the medical community would consider 'premature-ejaculatory-like syndrome,' or simply 'rapid ejaculation.' ... Mulhall says it comes down to whether the guy lasts long enough. If his partner is made wholly replete in 90 seconds, then a man who lasts 95 seconds can be fine. But if another guy lasts 15 minutes, and that's not cutting it, then it's a problem and can be considered rapid.