Not men only: Premature ejaculation adversely affects female partners

June 1, 2008

Results of a recent study have shown that female partners of men suffering from premature ejaculation (PE) confirm the lack of ejaculatory control of their partners. Significantly lower sexual satisfaction as well as higher ejaculation-related distress and interpersonal difficulties in the relationship were also seen in both male and female participants, compared to relationships in which PE was not an issue.

The 8-week multicenter European observational study included 1,115 couples in which 201 men (18%) were diagnosed as having PE. Couples were not informed of the diagnosis until after the study.

Each of the female partners of men with and without PE completed the female version of the Premature Ejaculation Profile (PEP) at baseline and at weeks 4 and 8. Study endpoints included evaluation of their own sexual satisfaction with intercourse, measures of their perception of their partner's control over ejaculation, and their own distress and interpersonal difficulty related to their partner's ejaculatory timing.

"This study underscores the significant personal stress and interpersonal difficulties existing in a relationship where the male suffers from premature ejaculation," said Hartmut Porst, MD, a urologist in private practice in Hamburg, Germany. "The results clearly demonstrate that women suffer significantly in terms of their sexual feelings and sexual performance with male partners who suffer from premature ejaculation."

Dr. Porst presented the results of the study at the European Association of Urology annual congress here.

Control over ejaculation by men with PE was reported as "very poor" or "poor" by 45.7% of their female partners, compared to 3.4% of female partners of men without PE. In addition, 25.6% of female partners of men with PE reported their satisfaction with intercourse as "very poor" or "poor," compared to 1.1% of female partners of men without PE.

Results also showed that 52.8% of female partners of men with PE and only 5.9% of female partners of men without PE reported at least "moderate" personal distress related to the timing of the man's ejaculation. "Moderate" interpersonal difficulties related to the timing of the man's ejaculation were recorded by 31.8% of female partners of men with PE, compared to 1.9% of female partners of men without PE.

Dr. Porst said that this study is in line with other parallel studies showing that women who are living with men suffering from PE are principally dissatisfied with their sex lives and are less satisfied with the relationship itself. Consequently, these women seem to have great difficulties in reaching orgasm on a regular basis.

Dr. Porst said that the implications of this study transcend the urology department. Further, these results should serve as a wake-up call not only for urologists, but also for gynecologists, he said. The data demonstrate that PE affects both partners with similar intensity, suggesting that this condition must be dealt with head-on and treated. Men who visit their urologist should be thoroughly questioned about this condition and also about the feelings of their partners, he said.

Dr. Porst said that many women present to gynecologists with symptoms of difficulties in reaching orgasm, or that they are nonorgasmic or frigid. Here, the gynecologist never asks the patient about the sexual performance of the partner, although the study showed that 20% to 25% of the male population suffers from PE.

"As this statistic is alarmingly high, it is the duty of the gynecologist to ask patients about the sexual performance of their partners, as we know now that premature ejaculation causes orgasmic difficulties in women," Dr. Porst said.

Dr. Porst is a consultant/adviser for Bayer HealthCare.