Premature ejaculation: an observational study of men and their partners

J Sex Med. 2005 May;2(3):358-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2005.20353.x.


Introduction: Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common male sexual dysfunction affecting men and their partners. Lack of community-based data describing this condition limits understanding of PE and its outcomes.

Aim: To characterize PE in a large population of men with and without PE using patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures elicited from men and their partners.

Methods: 4-week, multicenter, observational study of males (> or =18 years) and their female partners in monogamous relationships (> or =6 months). Screening, baseline, and follow-up visits scheduled at 2-week intervals. Clinicians diagnosed PE utilizing DSM-IV-TR criteria. Intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT), measured by a stopwatch held by the partner, was recorded for each sexual intercourse experience. Subject and partner independently assessed PROs: control over ejaculation and satisfaction with sexual intercourse (0 = very poor to 4 = very good), personal distress and interpersonal difficulty (0 = not at all to 4 = extremely), and severity of PE (0 = none to 3 = severe). Results. Of the total study population (N = 1,587), 207 subjects were diagnosed with PE and 1,380 were assigned to the non-PE group. Median IELT (min) was 1.8 (range, 0-41) for PE and 7.3 (range, 0-53) for non-PE subjects (P < 0.0001). More PE vs. non-PE subjects gave ratings of "very poor" or "poor" for control over ejaculation (72% vs. 5%; P < 0.0001) and satisfaction with sexual intercourse (31% vs. 1%; P < 0.0001). More subjects in the PE vs. non-PE group gave ratings of "quite a bit" or "extremely" for personal distress (64% vs. 4%; P < 0.0001) and interpersonal difficulty (31% vs. 1%; P < 0.0001). Subject and partner assessments showed similar patterns and correlated moderately (0.36-0.57).

Conclusions: PE subjects reported significantly shorter IELT. Overlap in IELT distributions was observed between the PE and non-PE groups, indicating the need for additional PRO measures to characterize PE. Shorter IELT was significantly associated with reduced ejaculatory control and sexual satisfaction and increased distress and interpersonal difficulty.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ejaculation / physiology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Observation
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Time Factors