Premature ejaculation: Not just a man's problem

Paris-Although a male condition, premature ejaculation has asignificant impact on women, according to a multinational studyanalyzing the effects of premature ejaculation on women and on menwho suffer from it presented by Italian researchers at the EuropeanAssociation of Urology annual congress here.

Co-author Giuseppe LaPera, MD, chief of the andrology unit at San Camillo Hospital, Rome, and colleagues conducted the multicenter, 8-week, observational study of men with and without premature ejaculation and their female partners, using information gathered from the Premature Ejaculation Profile (PEP). The PEP compared scores of women whose partners suffer from premature ejaculation with those of women whose partners did not suffer from premature ejaculation. In addition, PEP scores for women were compared with those of their male partners on the male version of the PEP to further evaluate the impact of premature ejaculation on women.

Multidimensional problem

Results showed that 45.7% of women with partners who had premature ejaculation rated the man's control over ejaculation as "very poor" or "poor," compared with 3.4% of women whose partners did not have premature ejaculation. One-fourth (25.6%) of women whose partners had premature ejaculation rated their satisfaction with sexual intercourse as "very poor" or "poor," compared with 1.1% of women whose partners did not have PE, two significant statistical differences.

"These differences were consistently observed in five different European countries-France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom-and are similar to what has been reported previously for women in the United States," Dr. La Pera reported. "Also, women and their male partners had similar perceptions of the level of ejaculatory control, satisfaction with sexual intercourse, and interpersonal difficulty associated with premature ejaculation.

"Men with premature ejaculation showed slightly greater personal distress associated with their condition compared to their female partners."

The study was divided into three visits: week 0 (screening), week 4 (initial assessment), and week 8 (reassessment). A physician used Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) criteria to determine the diagnosis of premature ejaculation in male patients. The PEP (available in male and female versions) was completed by all male and female participants on all visits. The evaluation consists of four self-reported outcome measurements: perceived control over ejaculation, personal distress associated with premature ejaculation, satisfaction with sexual intercourse, and interpersonal difficulty associated with premature ejaculation.

For 201 couples (18.0%), the male partner was classified as having premature ejaculation, based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria, and 914 of the men did not suffer from the condition. Most couples completed the study: 96% of couples affected by premature ejaculation and 97.4% of couples not affected by the condition. Couples who dropped out of the study did so after withdrawal of consent, were lost to follow-up, or for other reasons. Demographic characteristics of the women and their male partners were balanced between the premature ejaculation and the non-premature ejaculation groups in all countries participating in the study.

"Premature ejaculation is a multidimensional condition that not only affects the various aspects of men's lives, but also greatly affects their female partners, as this study showed," Dr. La Pera said.

The research was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

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