Send to

Choose Destination
J Sex Med. 2005 Jul;2(4):498-507.

Proposal for a definition of lifelong premature ejaculation based on epidemiological stopwatch data.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry and Neurosexology, Leyenburg HagaHospital, The Hague, and Department of Psychopharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.



Consensus on a definition of premature ejaculation has not yet been reached because of debates based on subjective authority opinions and nonstandardized assessment methods to measure ejaculation time and ejaculation control.


To provide a definition for lifelong premature ejaculation that is based on epidemiological evidence including the neurobiological and psychological approach.


We used the 0.5 and 2.5 percentiles as accepted standards of disease definition in a skewed distribution. We applied these percentiles in a stopwatch-determined intravaginal ejaculation latency time (IELT) distribution of 491 nonselected men from five different countries. The practical consequences of 0.5% and 2.5% cutoff points for disease definition were taken into consideration by reviewing current knowledge of feelings of control and satisfaction in relation to ejaculatory performance of the general male population.


Literature arguments to be used in a proposed consensus on a definition of premature ejaculation.


The stopwatch-determined IELT distribution is positively skewed. The 0.5 percentile equates to an IELT of 0.9 minute and the 2.5 percentile an IELT of 1.3 minutes. However, there are no available data in the literature on feelings of control or satisfaction in relation to ejaculatory latency time in the general male population. Random male cohort studies are needed to end all speculation on this subject. Exact stopwatch time assessment of IELT in a multinational study led us to propose that all men with an IELT of less than 1 minute (belonging to the 0.5 percentile) have "definite" premature ejaculation, while men with IELTs between 1 and 1.5 minutes (between 0.5 and 2.5 percentile) have "probable" premature ejaculation. Severity of premature ejaculation (nonsymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe) should be defined in terms of associated psychological problems.


We define lifelong premature ejaculation as a neurobiological dysfunction with an unacceptable increase of risk to develop sexual and psychological problems anywhere in a lifetime. By defining premature ejaculation from an authority-defined disorder into a dysfunction based on epidemiological evidence it is possible to establish consensus based on epidemiological evidence. Additional epidemiological stopwatch studies are needed for a final decision of IELT values at both percentile cutoff points.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center