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Premature Ejaculation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Worried about premature ejaculation? You’re not alone. Research shows that premature ejaculation, or PE, is one of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction, affecting as much as 39 percent of the male population.

A variety of factors can contribute to premature ejaculation, from penile sensitivity to psychological issues such as depression, performance anxiety and stress.

Here’s the good news: While premature ejaculation might negatively affect your sex life in the short term, it’s usually treatable with a combination of medication, therapy and/or simple lifestyle changes.

Here, we explain what premature ejaculation is, as well as the numerous factors that may play a role in its development. We’ve also listed related symptoms,  as well as how these differ from other sexual health issues. 

Finally, below you’ll find options for treating premature ejaculation, enhancing your sexual performance and improving your sex life.

What is Premature Ejaculation?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), premature ejaculation is any ejaculation that occurs "during partnered sexual activity with approximately 1 minute following vaginal penetration and before the individual wishes it, during all or almost all sexual activity."

Simply put, premature ejaculation occurs when you reach orgasm and ejaculate too early during sexual intercourse or other sexual activity. 

Premature ejaculation is occasionally referred to as “rapid ejaculation” or  “early ejaculation, ” and no matter what you call it, it’s never much fun for anyone.

The jury is out on the exact amount of time that defines ejaculation as normal or premature.

While one minute might be the common standard, some experts use a slightly longer amount of time and define premature cum as ejaculation that occurs in two minutes or less after vaginal penetration in at least 50% of sexual attempts.

Others use less specific, more subjective definitions. For example, some researchers define PE based on the satisfaction level of the female partner.

Not all cases of ejaculating early are considered premature ejaculation. For example, if you want to reach orgasm and cum quickly during sex, this generally isn't considered to be premature ejaculation.

Premature Ejaculation Symptoms

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.