According to the International Society of Sexual Medicine (ISSM) premature ejaculation is a male sexual dysfunction characterized by the all three of the following:

  1. Ejaculation that always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about 1 minute of vaginal penetration from the first sexual experience—Lifelong Premature Ejaculation (LPE),

OR a clinically significant reduction in latency time (time it takes to reach orgasm after engaging in sex), often to about 3 minutes or less–Acquired Premature Ejaculation (APE);

  1. The inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations; and
  2. Negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration, and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) 2nd International Consultation on Sexual Health defined PE as “. . . persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal stimulation before, on, or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it, over which the sufferer has little or no voluntary control which causes the sufferer and / or his partner bother or distress. . .”1

Note that the WHO definition does not include and specific duration of time until ejaculation. The important components of PE, as captured in the WHO definition, include 1) ejaculation sooner than the person wants it to happen, 2) a relative or complete lack of control over timing of ejaculation, and 3) resultant bother to the patient and / or his partner. This is a much more user friendly and flexible definition as it takes the individual and his partner into account.

Men with PE generally fall into two groups: those who have it from their first sexual experience (lifelong PE) and those who develop it later (acquired PE).


This information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.  

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