is Premature Ejaculation?
occurs when a man ejaculates sooner during sexual intercourse than he or his
partner would like. Premature ejaculation is a common sexual complaint.
Estimates vary, but as many as 1 out of 3 men say they experience this problem
at some time.
As long as it happens
infrequently, it’s not cause for concern. However, you might be diagnosed with
premature ejaculation if you:
- Always or nearly always ejaculate within one minute of
- Are unable to delay ejaculation during intercourse all or nearly
all of the time
- Feel distressed and frustrated, and tend to avoid sexual
intimacy as a result
Both psychological and
biological factors can play a role in premature ejaculation. Although many men
feel embarrassed talking about it, premature ejaculation is a common and
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.
When to see a doctor
Talk with your doctor
if you ejaculate sooner than you wish during most sexual encounters. It’s
common for men to feel embarrassed about discussing sexual health concerns, but
don’t let that keep you from talking to your doctor. Premature ejaculation is a
common and treatable problem.
For some men, a
conversation with a doctor might help lessen concerns about premature
ejaculation. For example, it might be reassuring to hear that occasional premature
ejaculation is normal and that the average time from the beginning of
intercourse to ejaculation is about five minutes.
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.
that might play a role include:
- Early sexual experiences
- Sexual abuse
- Poor body image
- Worrying about premature ejaculation
- Guilty feelings that increase your tendency to rush through
Other factors that can
play a role include:
- Erectile dysfunction. Men who are anxious about obtaining or
maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse might form a pattern of
rushing to ejaculate, which can be difficult to change.
- Anxiety. Many men with premature ejaculation also have problems
with anxiety — either specifically about sexual performance or related to other
- Relationship problems. If you have had satisfying sexual
relationships with other partners in which premature ejaculation happened
infrequently or not at all, it’s possible that interpersonal issues between you
and your current partner are contributing to the problem.
A number of biological
factors might contribute to premature ejaculation, including:
- Abnormal hormone levels
- Abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
- Inflammation and infection of the prostate or urethra
- Inherited traits
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.
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.