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18 April 2005
Premature Ejaculation Research Yields Some Surprises
by George Atkinson

Researchers conducting a study into premature ejaculation found that that men who suffer from premature ejaculation had an average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (time spent with the penis in the vagina) of 1.8 minutes, compared to 7.3 minutes in men who did not suffer premature ejaculation. Men suffering premature ejaculation not only suffered shorter sexual intercourse, but also had higher ratings for personal distress, interpersonal difficulty with their partner, lack of ejaculation control and dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse. Their female partners also had higher levels of personal distress and dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse.

Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual dysfunction affecting men and their partners. However, available data suggest that only around 10 percent or less of males self-reporting the dysfunction receive treatment. According to Irwin Goldstein, the editor of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, most physicians do not inquire about the existence of premature ejaculation when the patient has other sexual complaints or when the man's partner has orgasmic dysfunction.

The four-week study, reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, examined around 1,600 men and was the first to measure average times-to-ejaculation with stopwatches. This average was defined as the time between the start of vaginal intromission and the start of intravaginal ejaculation. The study was also the first to address the concerns of female partners. Both members of the couples studied were asked to report on a variety of subjective factors. The researchers said there was significant overlap in average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time observed between the groups who suffered from PE and those without. This suggests that average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time may not be sufficient to diagnose PE, and that subjective factors, like lack of control, may also be valid indicators.

"Most people think uni-dimensionally about premature ejaculation in terms of considering it a disorder of time," said Stanley E. Althof, corresponding author of the study. "This article demonstrates that subjective factors like sense of control, distress, and sexual satisfaction need to be considered when treating this highly prevalent disorder."

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