April 13, 2005 – In a four-week study of 1,587 men, researchers report that men who suffer from premature ejaculation (PE) had an average intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) of 1.8 minutes, compared to 7.3 minutes in men who did not. Men with PE and their female partners also had higher ratings for personal distress, interpersonal difficulty with their partner, lack of ejaculation control, and dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse.
This scientific study, appearing in the May issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, is the first large epidemiologic study to define patient populations of those with (207) and without (1380) premature ejaculation by measuring average times to ejaculation with stopwatches. This average, or IELT, is defined as the time between the start of vaginal intromission and the start of intravaginal ejaculation.
This study is also one of the first data sets to address the concerns of female partners. Both members of the couples studied were asked to report on a variety of subjective factors. Significant overlap in IELT was observed between the groups who suffered from PE and those without. Thus, the study data suggest IELT 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 PE in terms of considering it a disorder of time," states Stanley E. Althof, Ph.D., 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."
PE is the most common male sexual dysfunction affecting men and their partners. However, available data suggest that only 1-12% of males self-reporting receive treatment for their dysfunction. According to The Journal of Sexual Medicine editor Irwin Goldstein, most physicians do not inquire about the existence of premature ejaculation when the patient has other sexual complaints or when the partner has orgasmic dysfunction. As seen in this study, premature ejaculation adversely affects sexual satisfaction, and partner distress is a common motivation for afflicted men to seek treatment.
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