The primary sign of premature ejaculation is ejaculation that occurs before both partners wish, causing concern or stress. However, the problem may occur in all sexual situations, even including during masturbation.

Doctors generally classify premature ejaculation as either lifelong (primary) or acquired (secondary).

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, lifelong premature ejaculation is characterized by:

  • Ejaculation that always or nearly always occurs within one minute of vaginal penetration
  • The inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations
  • Negative personal consequences, such as stress, frustration or the avoidance of sexual intimacy

Secondary premature ejaculation is generally understood to share the same symptoms as lifelong premature ejaculation, but with one key difference:

  • Secondary ejaculation develops after you've had previous, satisfying sexual relationships without ejaculatory problems

When to see a doctor

Talk with your doctor if you ejaculate sooner than you and your partner wish during most sexual encounters. Although you may feel you should be able to fix the problem yourself, you may need treatment to help you have a satisfying sex life.

For some men, however, a conversation with your doctor may actually reassure you that your occasional premature ejaculation is normal — or possibly not even premature. The average time from the beginning of intercourse to ejaculation is generally about five minutes.

Feb. 24, 2011