The main symptom of premature ejaculation is the inability to delay ejaculation for more than one minute after penetration. However, the problem might occur in all sexual situations, even during masturbation.
Premature ejaculation can be classified as:
- Lifelong (primary). Lifelong premature ejaculation occurs all or nearly all of the time beginning with your first sexual encounters.
- Acquired (secondary). Acquired premature ejaculation develops after you've had previous sexual experiences without ejaculatory problems.
Many men feel that they have symptoms of premature ejaculation, but the symptoms don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation. Instead these men might have natural variable premature ejaculation, which includes periods of rapid ejaculation as well as periods of normal ejaculation.
The exact cause of premature ejaculation isn't known. While it was once thought to be only psychological, doctors now know premature ejaculation involves a complex interaction of psychological and biological factors.
Various factors can increase your risk of premature ejaculation, including:
- Erectile dysfunction. You might be at increased risk of premature ejaculation if you occasionally or consistently have trouble getting or maintaining an erection. Fear of losing your erection might cause you to consciously or unconsciously hurry through sexual encounters.
- Stress. Emotional or mental strain in any area of your life can play a role in premature ejaculation, limiting your ability to relax and focus during sexual encounters.
Premature ejaculation can cause problems in your personal life, including:
- Stress and relationship problems. A common complication of premature ejaculation is relationship stress.
- Fertility problems. Premature ejaculation can occasionally make fertilization difficult for couples who are trying to have a baby if ejaculation doesn't occur intravaginally.
July 21, 2017
- Ferri FF. Ejaculation and orgasm disorders. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
- Saitz TR, et al. Advances in understanding and treating premature ejaculation. Nature Reviews Urology. 2015;12:629.
- Gur S, et al. Current therapies for premature ejaculation. Drug Discovery Today. 2016;21:1147.
- Wein AJ, et al., eds. Disorders of male orgasm and ejaculation. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.:Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
- Althof SE, et al. An update of the International Society of Sexual Medicine's guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of premature ejaculation (PE). The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2014;11:1392.
- Cooper K, et al. Behavioral therapies for management of premature ejaculation: A systematic review. Sexual Medicine. 2015;3:174.
- Serefpglu EC, et al. Premature ejaculation: Do we have effective therapy? Translational Andrology and Urology. 2013;2:45.
- Siegel AL. Pelvic floor muscle training in males: Practical applications. Urology. 2014;84:1.
- Kegel exercise tips. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/urologic-disease/urinary-incontinence-women/Pages/insertC.aspx. Accessed Sept. 25, 2016.
- Hill BJ, et al. The effect of condoms on penile vibrotactile sensitivity thresholds in young, heterosexual men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2014;11:102.
- Althof SE, et al. Contemporary management of disorders of male orgasm and ejaculation. Urology. 2016;93:9.
- Castiglione F, et al. Current pharmacological management of premature ejaculation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Urology. 2016;69:904.