What is Premature Ejaculation?

Most men who are sexually active enjoy a satisfactory experience between both partners. However, for many couples, the sexual act is cut short due to the early completion by the male partner before both partners are satisfied. This early completion is an unplanned orgasm and ejaculation commonly known as Premature Ejaculation (PE).

While many men may chuckle about others who suffer from premature ejaculation, premature ejaculation is quite prevalent in men. Conservative estimates show that about 20%-30% of all men suffer from either primary or secondary premature ejaculation. In addition, as many as 70% of men may suffer from some form of premature ejaculation during their lifetimes.

The fact is that premature ejaculation is a common sexual dysfunction problem experienced by most men either acutely or chronically during their lifetime.

Can Premature Ejaculation Be Defined?

Premature ejaculation has a wide range of definitions, but most commonly, this type of sexual dysfunction occurs when a man reaches orgasm and ejaculates too quickly during sexual intercourse.

Unfortunately, there is not much consensus between medical professionals and medical organizations on a true, exact and definitive description of this problem. Agreeing on a specific and precise duration of stimulation before the male orgasm is avoided because there is a broad range of timelines that can be problematic.

However, the medical community can agree on a broad definition that avoids a specific duration, and simply states that premature ejaculation is an occurrence of ejaculation that happens prior to the desires and wishes of both sex partners. And while an occasional occurrence of premature ejaculation is usually not cause for concern, if it occurs more frequently than 50% of the time, then it is viewed as a sexually dysfunctional pattern where treatment may be appropriate.

Sexual Satisfaction for Both Partners

But when does an early male climax become problematic? This is when premature ejaculation enters a gray area, where there is no black or white answer. It is agreeable in most cases that a premature ejaculation dysfunction exists when a man reaches a climax and ejaculates just a few minutes after the beginning of sexual stimulation.

However, what about a man who reaches climax and ejaculates 5 minutes after stimulation? Or 10 minutes? Or even 15 minutes?

A man may be able to delay his ejaculation for as long as 30 minutes or more. However, even if the man ejaculates after 30 minutes of vaginal penetration, if the woman still has not reached climax, is that considered premature ejaculation?

If a man and woman can both reach a satisfactory orgasm and climax in 5 minutes and both are satisfied, then a premature ejaculation problem does not exist. But say a woman needs longer than 30 minutes of vaginal stimulation to reach orgasm, yet a man is unable to delay his orgasm longer than 15 minutes. Then PE may indeed be a problem for that couple.

It is impossible to put a precise timeline on a male ejaculation to define it as premature ejaculation. The problem is different from couple to couple. If a couple finds that the man reaches climax much earlier than desired, or much earlier than his partner, then a premature ejaculation dysfunction may be present.