How is premature ejaculation (PE) defined?

Updated: May 25, 2021
  • Author: Samuel G Deem, DO; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Most professionals who treat premature ejaculation define this condition as the occurrence of ejaculation earlier than both sexual partners wish. This broad definition thus avoids specifying a precise “normal” duration for sexual relations and reaching a climax. The duration of intimate relations is highly variable and depends on many factors specific to the individuals involved.

For example, a male may reach climax after 8 minutes of sexual intercourse, but if his partner regularly climaxes in 5 minutes and both are satisfied with the timing, this is not premature ejaculation. Alternatively, a male might delay his ejaculation for up to 20 minutes of sexual intercourse, but if his partner, even with foreplay, requires 35 minutes of stimulation before reaching climax, he may still consider his ejaculation and subsequent loss of erection premature because his partner will not have been satisfied (at least, not through intercourse).

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