What are the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for premature ejaculation (PE)?

Updated: May 25, 2021
  • Author: Samuel G Deem, DO; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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The specific DSM-5 criteria for premature (early) ejaculation are as follows [4] :

  • In almost all or all (75-100%) sexual activity, the experience of a pattern of ejaculation occurring during partnered sexual activity within 1 minute after vaginal penetration and before the individual wishes it

  • The symptoms above have persisted for at least 6 months

  • The symptoms above cause significant distress to the individual

  • The dysfunction cannot be better explained by nonsexual mental disorder, a medical condition, the effects of a drug or medication, or severe relationship distress or other significant stressors

The severity of premature (early) ejaculation is specified as follows:

  • Mild (occurring within approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute of vaginal penetration)

  • Moderate (occurring within approximately 15-30 seconds of vaginal penetration)

  • Severe (occurring before sexual activity, at the start of sexual activity, or within approximately 15 seconds of vaginal penetration)

The duration of the dysfunction is specified as follows:

  • Lifelong (present since first sexual experience)

  • Acquired (developing after a period of relative normal sexual functioning)

In addition, the context in which the dysfunction occurs is specified as follows:

  • Generalized (not limited to certain types of stimulation, situations, or partners)

  • Situational (limited to specific types of stimulation, situations, or partners)

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