Impact of premature ejaculation: the psychological, quality of life, and sexual relationship consequences

J Sex Med. 2008 Jun;5(6):1296-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00825.x. Epub 2008 Apr 14.


Introduction: Premature ejaculation (PE) has been associated with a range of negative psychological effects, including anxiety, depression, and distress in men and their female partners.

Aim: To review evidence of the psychosocial concomitants of premature ejaculation in recent observational studies, and to consider the psychosocial and quality of life outcomes associated with PE, including effects on the partner relationship.

Main outcome measure: Psychosocial and quality of life consequences related to premature ejaculation.

Methods: A literature search was performed to retrieve publications relating to management or treatment of PE or male sexual dysfunction. Publications were included if they reported the impact of PE on the man, his partner or relationship, or the impact of male sexual dysfunction and included PE in the analysis.

Results: Eleven observational studies were selected. All these studies found evidence for an association between PE and adverse psychosocial and quality of life consequences, including detrimental effects on the partner relationship. Comparative analyses were restricted by major differences across the studies.

Conclusions: PE significantly negatively impacts men and their partners and may prevent single men forming new partner relationships. Men are reluctant to seek treatment from their physicians, although they may be more encouraged to do so through their partner's support and the availability of effective treatments. There is a need for validated diagnostic screening criteria and validated, reliable, brief patient-reported outcome measures that can be used to assess men with PE and their partners. These factors would allow further studies with more complete and accurate assessment of the impact of PE.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Ejaculation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology