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Premature Ejaculation Defined

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It’s official now — ejaculation in less than 60 seconds from start of intercourse is “premature”.


A 20-member panel of the world’s leading sexual health experts, set up by the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM), has for the first time defined premature ejaculation (PE) — a sexual dysfunction affecting 30% of the world’s adult men.

Speaking to TOI from Orlando, eminent American urologist Ira D Sharlip, the study’s main author, said the medical definition of PE — the bane of millions of men worldwide — was reached after “studying hundreds of international studies published on PE.” The team’s study, that backs the definition, will be published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on Saturday. It will also be officially announced on May 19 at the American Urological Association‘s annual conference in Florida.

Dr Sharlip told TOI, “The definition of lifelong PE is now a form of sexual dysfunction in which ejaculation occurs within a minute of vaginal penetration, almost every time during intercourse. The previous definitions did not quantify the time limit and so many men who just reached a climax early, sometimes mistook themselves to be suffering from PE, causing them tremendous mental distress, depression, anxiety and marital discord.”

According to Dr Sharlip, the hope now is that more people reaching climax within a minute will understand PE as a medical condition and seek treatment without suffering in silence.

He says the definition would also help drug companies identify actual PE patients when conducting a drug trail in the future. In September 2006, ISSM reportedly felt the need for an objective evidence based definition of PE. They then set up a committee of 20 experts representing every continent. The panel of experts agreed that the constructs that were necessary to define PE were time to ejaculation, inability to delay ejaculation and negative consequences from PE.

“We reviewed hundreds of published papers on PE, specially 20 that specifically addressed objective measures to pinpoint PE. The committee met in Amsterdam in October to reach a conclusive definition. Those with PE should be immediately put on a combination of psychological and drug therapy,” Dr Sharlip said.

Reacting to the study, Dr Vikram Sharma, urologist at Max Hospital, told TOI that the standardization would now reduce incorrect diagnosis of PE cases across the world. Indian surveys have shown that 10% of all adult males in the country suffer from some sort of sexual dysfunction, a large chunk of which — nearly 7% — would be of PE.

According to Dr Sharma, PE most commonly affects Indian men aged 19-26 years and decreases by nearly 50% after they reach 30.

“Till now, whenever patients complained of PE or reaching climax before five minutes of intercourse, we first put them on counselling sessions. However, now we know that in patients who ejaculate within a minute, it is a pathological disorder that would need immediate medical intervention. In absense of any standardisation earlier, doctors failed to diagnose serious PE cases thereby prolonging mental and physical trauma for the patient,” Dr Sharma said.

Experts say PE is humiliating for adult men and so many don’t acknowledge and address it until it is too late.

Sources: The Times Of India

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