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Premature Ejaculation

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Premature Ejaculation

(Rapid Ejaculation)


Ejaculation is when a man reaches sexual climax and semen is ejected from the penis. Premature ejaculation is when it happens sooner than desired and results in distress for the man or his partner.


The exact cause is not known. Some things that may play a role are:

  • Mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Past trauma, such as a history of sexual abuse
  • Genetics

Some forms of premature ejaculation may be linked to:

The Prostate.

Anatomy of the Prostate Glandhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=25482548si1208.jpgAnatomy of the Prostate GlandNULLjpgAnatomy of the Prostate GlandNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si1208.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.22NULL2002-10-012553912548_11610© 2011 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

The risk of this problem is higher in people who have other family members who have it. Other things that may raise the risk are:

  • Poor overall health and lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Emotional problems and stress
  • Past sexual trauma
  • Having other sexual dysfunction problems


Regular premature ejaculation is the only symptom.


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. You will also be asked about your sexual history. A physical exam will be done.

The doctor may do tests to look for medical causes if this is a sudden change or it is causing severe problems. Urine tests or a urine culture may be done to look for signs of infection. Or thyroid function tests may be done to check for hyperthyroidism.


The goal of treatment is to reduce the frequency of premature ejaculation.

The choice of treatment will depend on a person's needs and underlying health problems. Some options are:

  • Mental health counseling to treat problems like depression and anxiety
  • Couples therapy to help with relationship issues
  • Behavioral therapy to learn when ejaculation is about to happen and how to delay it
  • Medicines, such as anti-depressants or numbing creams or sprays to dull sensation
  • Healthy habits, such as regular exercise


There are no current guidelines to prevent premature ejaculation.





  • Hatzimouratidis K, Giuliano F, et al; European Association of Urology (EAU). Guideline on Male Sexual Dysfunction. EAU 2019
  • Premature ejaculation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/premature-ejaculation-19.
  • Premature ejaculation. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/premature-ejaculation.
  • Premature ejaculation. Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/premature-ejaculation?article=122.


  • Mark S. Itzkowitz, MD, JD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.