Premature Ejaculation (PE) is the most common male sexual dysfunction in men < 60 years, yet it is one of the most under-diagnosed. According to DMS-IV definition of PE, 1 in 5 men report PE ; that's a higher proportion than those suffering from Erectile Dysfunction (ED). While Erectile Dysfunction generally increases with age, PE is not age-related, and although between 20% and 30% of men report this condition, only 9% actually turn to a doctor for help.
Talking about sexual problems is often difficult both for the patients and some doctors too and can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety, especially for men. PE is perhaps an even more difficult condition because it is not always considered as a real medical problem with a cause and available solutions but often only as a lifestyle issue. Men often overlook PE, referring it to “stress” or just ignoring it because they are convinced that there are no solutions. Otherwise, they try to find (e.g. searching on the internet) some "alternative" strategies to compensate for the PE and to relieve the distress it causes to the relationship with the partner. But these unprofessional attempts are often frustrating and worsen the discomfort and stress.
PE may have a significant impact on every aspect of a man’s life and that of his partner. References to the frustration caused by PE can even be found in the Kamasutra.
PE reduces the quality of a man's life and adversely affects a couple's relationship. 44% of men affected by the condition report feelings of frustration, 36% report anxiety and 20.4% depression. The half of those affected by PE (compared to 34% of non-affected) believe that the relationship with their partner would be more intensive if they were able to satisfy them sexually. This observation owes to the fact that PE also adversely affects the partner's satisfaction with sexual life and partnership.
PE or ED? PE is often confused with Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Nonetheless, PE and ED are completely different medical conditions. In PE, the erection is normal, but ejaculation mostly occurs before or within approximately 1-2 minutes of vaginal penetration; PE is characterised by the inability to control or delay ejaculation, is even more common than ED, may appear from the first experience of sexual intercourse in about 50% of cases and is equally present across all adult age-groups. On the contrary, ED is a persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual performance, has nothing to do with ejaculatory control and is more common in older ages and often associated with co-morbidities.
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