Introduction: Lifelong premature ejaculation (LPE) is characterized by persistent intravaginal ejaculation latency times (IELTs) of less than 1 minute, and has been postulated as a neurobiological dysfunction with genetic vulnerability for the short IELTs, related to disturbances of central serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]) neurotransmission and 5-HT receptor functioning.
Aim: To investigate the relationship between 5-HT transporter gene-linked polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and short IELTs in men with lifelong PE.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted in 89 Dutch Caucasian men with lifelong PE. IELT during coitus was assessed by stopwatch over a 1-month period. Controls consisted of 92 Dutch Caucasian men. All men with LPE were genotyped for a 5-HTT-promoter polymorphism. Allele frequencies and genotypes of short (S) and long (L) variants of 5-HTTLPR polymorphism were compared between patients and controls. Association between LL, SL, and SS genotypes, and the natural logarithm of the IELT in men with LPE was investigated.
Main outcome measures: IELT measured by stopwatch, 5-HTTLPR polymorphism.
Results: In men with lifelong PE, the geometric mean, median, and natural mean IELTs were 21, 26, and 32 seconds, respectively. There were no significant differences in the 5-HTT polymorphism alleles and genotypes between 89 Dutch Caucasian men with LPE (S 47%, L 53%/LL 29%, SL 48%, SS 22%) and 92 Dutch Caucasian controls (S 48%, L 52%/LL 29%, SL 45%, SS 26%). In men with lifelong PE there was a statistically significant difference between LL, SL, and SS genotypes in their geometric mean IELT (P < or = 0.027); the LL genotypes had significantly shorter IELTs than the SS and SL genotypes.
Conclusions: The 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is associated with significant effects on the latency to ejaculate in men with lifelong PE. Men with SS and SL genotypes have 100% and 90% longer ejaculation time, respectively than men with LL genotypes.