What is premature ejaculation

Premature Ejaculation (PE)

is the most common sexual dysfunction in males < 60 years -  1 in 5 men (according to the DSM-IV definition) report PE -  yet it is one of the most under-diagnosed and under-treated male disorders. That's a higher proportion than those suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Significant proportions of the male population all over the World report having symptoms or a complaint of PE: approximately 20% to 30% of men report this condition. But only 9% actually turn to a doctor for help. See: About PE

There is evidence

that at least lifelong PE which represents the majority of these patients is partly a psycho relational and partly an organic condition, presumed to be associated with special features in the serotonin receptor and transporter system finally resulting in reduced concentrations of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that (in the central nervous system) plays a key role in the ejaculation process.
Different psychological and organic factors may be associated in the same individual. Described for the first time as a clinical syndrome in 1943 by Bernard Shapiro, the condition distinguishes two categories: Lifelong PE and Acquired PE. See: What does PE mean?

For men with PE,

the sexual response presents an ejaculation sequence that is considerably shortened as compared to normal men, occurring more quickly and with less control than for non-PE men.
Therefore, PE cannot only be reduced to time problem, but comprises other important features such as “lack of control” over the ejaculation, PE related personal distress and partnership problems and poor overall satisfaction with intercourse. In fact, there are three key criteria to recognise PE. See: How do you know if it is PE?

A satisfying sex life

is essential to any successful relationship. Sexual dissatisfaction can cause feelings of frustration, anger and disappointment and may negatively impact a couple’s intimacy and harmony.
A man's discomfort (both physical and psychological) combined with his partner's reduced sexual satisfaction, can cause serious problems in both a couple’s sexual and emotional life. See: PE and personal distress – PE & Couples

PE was initially considered

as a psychological problem and was for decades established in the domain of sex-therapists exclusively treating these patients with behavioural and cognitive therapies.
Nowadays treatments for PE also include the use of prescription drugs as well as topical preparations which are applied directly to the glans and frenulum penis.See: What can be done?

Why is it so important

to avoid self-medication and obtain medical advice and medicine that your doctor prescribes exclusively from your pharmacist? See: Avoid self-medication and protect yourself against counterfeiting



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American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th edition. Text revision: DSMIV-TR. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.


Broderick GA. J Sex Med 2006;3(4):295-302.


EAU Guidelines on ED and PE 2012.


Jannini EA, Simonelli C, Lenzi A. J Endocrinol Invest 2002;25(11):1006-1019.


McCarty EJ. Core Evidence 2012;7:1-14


McMahon CG, Jannini E, Waldinger M, Rowland D. J Sex Med 2013;10(1):204-229.


Porst 2007.


Rosenberg MT, Sadovsky R. Identification and diagnosis of premature ejaculation. Int J Clin Pract. 2007;61(6):903-908.

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