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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

What Is It?

Premature ejaculation occurs when a man reaches orgasm and ejaculates too quickly and without control. In other words, ejaculation occurs before a man wants it to happen. It may occur before or after beginning foreplay or intercourse. Some men experience a lot of personal distress because of this condition.

As many as one in five men experience difficulty with uncontrolled or early ejaculation at some point in life. When premature ejaculation happens so frequently that it interferes with the sexual pleasure of a man or his partner, it becomes a medical problem.

Several factors may contribute to premature ejaculation. Psychological problems such as stress, depression and other factors that affect mental and emotional health can aggravate this condition. However, there is growing evidence that biological factors can make some men more prone to experience premature ejaculation.

Rarely, premature ejaculation can be caused by a specific physical problem, such as inflammation of the prostate gland or a spinal cord problem.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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