Lifestyle Factors and Premature Ejaculation: Are Physical Exercise, Alcohol Consumption, and Body Mass Index Associated With Premature Ejaculation and Comorbid Erectile Problems?

J Sex Med. 2016 Oct;13(10):1482-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.08.007. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


Introduction: Premature ejaculation (PE) is a common sexual problem in men, but its etiology remains uncertain. Lifestyle factors have long been hypothesized to be associated with sexual problems in general and have been proposed as risk factors for PE.

Aim: To explore associations among physical exercise, alcohol use, body mass index, PE, and erectile dysfunction.

Methods: A population-based sample of Finnish men and a sample of Finnish men diagnosed with PE were surveyed for statistical comparisons. Participants using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or other medications known to affect symptoms of PE were excluded from analyses.

Main outcome measures: Self-report questionnaires: Multiple Indicators of Premature Ejaculation, International Index of Erectile Function-5, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, and Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire.

Results: The clinical sample reported lower levels of physical exercise (mean = 27.53, SD = 21.01, n = 69) than the population-based sample (mean = 34.68, SD = 22.82, n = 863, t930 = 2.52, P = .012), and the effect size was large (d = 0.85). There was a small negative correlation between levels of physical exercise and symptoms of PE (r = -0.09, P < .01, n = 863) in the population-based sample. The association between physical exercise and PE remained significant after controlling for effects of age, erectile dysfunction, alcohol use, and body mass index.

Conclusion: If future studies show that the direction of causality of this association is such that physical activity alleviates PE symptoms, then including physical activity in PE treatment interventions could be a promising addition to treatment regimes.

Keywords: Alcohol; Erectile Dysfunction; Exercise; Lifestyle; Premature Ejaculation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology*
  • Exercise*
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Men's Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Penile Erection
  • Premature Ejaculation / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires