Treating Premature Ejaculation

November 3, 2021

Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates earlier than desired during sexual intercourse . As long as it happens infrequently, it’s not cause for concern. However, if you regularly ejaculate sooner than you and your partner would like — such as before intercourse begins or shortly afterward it can be considered premature ejaculation.

Premature ejaculation is a common sexual problem. Estimates vary, but as many as 1 out of 3 men may be affected by this problem at some point in their life.

Both psychological and biological factors can play a role in premature ejaculation. Although many men feel embarrassed to talk about it, premature ejaculation is a common and treatable condition.

Medications, psychological counseling, and sexual techniques that delay ejaculation can improve sex for you and your partner. For many men, a combination of treatments works best.


The primary sign of premature ejaculation is ejaculation that occurs before both partners wish, causing concern, stress or sometimes embaressment. However, the problem may occur in all sexual situations, even including during masturbation.

Doctors generally classify premature ejaculation as either lifelong (primary) or acquired (secondary).

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, lifelong premature ejaculation is characterized by:

  • Ejaculation that always or nearly always occurs within one minute of vaginal penetration
  • The inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations
  • Negative personal consequences, such as stress, frustration or the avoidance of sexual intimacy

Secondary premature ejaculation is generally understood to share the same symptoms as lifelong premature ejaculation, but with one key difference:

Secondary ejaculation develops after you’ve had previous, satisfying sexual relationships without ejaculatory problems.

When to see a doctor

Talk with your doctor if you ejaculate sooner than you and your partner wish during most sexual encounters. Although you may feel you should be able to fix the problem yourself, you may need treatment to help you have a satisfying sex life.

For some men, however, a conversation with your doctor may actually reassure you that your occasional premature ejaculation is normal — or possibly not even premature. The average time from the beginning of intercourse to ejaculation is generally about five minutes.