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13 May 2004
Premature Ejaculation Affects Many
by George Atkinson

One of man's most common sexual problems - premature ejaculation - is more common than erectile dysfunction. It can affect men at any point in their lives, and one in four men experience poor control over ejaculation on a frequent basis. According to published research, up to 30% of men worldwide are commonly affected by premature ejaculation, yet it remains a taboo subject in virtually every culture.

Premature ejaculation is defined as persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, upon, or shortly after penetration, or before the person wishes, causing distress and embarrassment to one or both partners, potentially affecting sexual relationships and overall well-being.

"Premature ejaculation is a frequent and distinct medical condition that can severely impact quality of life, affecting the physical and emotional well-being of patients and their partners," says James H. Barada, urologist at the Center for Male Sexual Health, NY. "But most men are reluctant to talk about it with their partners or physicians."

The Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) is considering whether renaming the condition would help increase discussion about premature ejaculation, and reduce the stigma associated with it. A working group undertook a review of recent research and a representative research study. The working group found that the term premature ejaculation was universally recognized and accurately understood by men with the condition and their partners, and concluded that changing the name may have the opposite effect, resulting in confusion and requiring extensive re-education. In the research study, which included 61 healthcare professionals, 75 men with premature ejaculation and 48 partners, other terms that also were occasionally used by physicians to describe the condition like "rapid ejaculation", were not as well understood by the study participants.

Most significantly, the results of the study highlight that the stigma is not associated with the name, but with the condition. The SMSNA Scientific Working Group recommends continued use of the term premature ejaculation to describe the condition, and in a move to minimize the stigma, called on medical professionals to encourage communication about sexual health and the medical causes of premature ejaculation.

Researchers also pondered why premature ejaculation is so stigmatized considering that it is such a well-known condition?

Further research reported by Andrew R. McCullough, from the New York University Medical Center suggests that one of the reasons might be the broad impact that premature ejaculation has on many aspects of a man's life, leaving him with feelings of embarrassment and inadequacy. Dr. McCullough's analysis shows that men with poor control over ejaculation tend to be less satisfied with sexual intercourse and their sexual relationship, and may suffer more difficulties with sexual anxiety and arousal compared to non-sufferers.

In the study, men classified with probable premature ejaculation reported poor control over ejaculation (50%), low satisfaction with sexual intercourse (23%), low satisfaction with sexual relationship (30%), low interest in actually having sexual intercourse (28%), difficulty in becoming sexually aroused (34%), and difficulty relaxing during intercourse (31%). These findings highlight the negative impact of premature ejaculation on quality of life, sexual performance and enjoyment of sex.

"These studies highlight that male sexual health encompasses less acknowledged medical conditions, beyond erectile dysfunction," said Dr. McCullough.




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