Objectives: This study evaluated the associated comorbidities and patient satisfaction with treatment options for premature ejaculation (PE), a common sexual dysfunction.
Methods: A comprehensive, Internet-based survey (the PE Prevalence and Attitudes [PEPA] survey) was conducted among men ages 18-70 in the United States, Germany, and Italy (n=12,133). Men were classified as having PE based on self-report of low or absent control over ejaculation, resulting in distress for them or their sexual partner or both.
Results: The prevalence of PE was 22.7% (24.0% in the United States, 20.3% in Germany, and 20.0% in Italy) and did not vary significantly with age among men over age 24 yr. Men with PE were more likely to self-report other sexual dysfunctions (e.g., anorgasmia, low libido, erectile dysfunction) and psychological disturbances (e.g., depression, anxiety, excessive stress) than men without PE (p<0.05 for all). Men with PE were most aware of (>70%) and most likely to have used (>50%) special positions during sex, interrupted stimulation, masturbation, and having intercourse more often than usual to manage their PE. Only 9.0% of men with PE reported having consulted a physician for the condition; 81.9% had to initiate the conversation about PE and 91.5% reported little or no improvement as a result of seeking treatment.
Conclusion: PE is a highly prevalent sexual problem, with significant sexual and psychological comorbidities. Most men with PE do not seek assistance from their physician, and most of those who do are not satisfied with the results.