Premature Ejaculation - When is it a problem?

Are you worried about premature ejaculation? You are not alone. It is a widespread sexual complaint, with up to 75% of men struggling from it at some point.

It is defined as “persistent or recurrent ejaculation with minimal stimulation before, on or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it.”

Due to everyone having different expectations from sex, premature ejaculation isn’t always an easy disorder to define using sexual performance statistics. According to international guidelines, ejaculating within 1 minute of intercourse is classified as premature, but it can be different from person to person.

It can become a problem if it causes you or your relationship persistent distress and a lack of enjoyment in your sex life. It may make you feel disappointed and anxious, leading you to avoid sex. There is a range of reasons for the cause of it, including physical and mental triggers, but the good news is that it can be treatable.

Let’s first look at some physical causes:

  • Prostate problems
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Use of recreational drugs
  • Age (although not a direct cause)


Some psychological issues may include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Unrealistic expectations about sexual performance (performance anxiety)
  • Lack of confidence
  • Relationship problems
  • Sexual trauma


“Around 11.7 million men in the UK said they struggled with sex, with one in eight experiencing problems every time.”

Premature ejaculation can happen to men of all ages, far more than you’d expect, and it’s not a condition that you should be embarrassed about.

If you are concerned about premature ejaculation and the effect it has on your relationship, then it could be time to seek help. If it’s due to a physical condition, please seek medical assistance from your GP. If it’s due to a psychological issue, then we can help. Read our related blog on performance anxiety to find out more about sexual dysfunction problems.

“It can be awkward to talk about sexual dysfunction, even with a partner, but there are ways to manage the psychological issues causing these sexual problems. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a very effective tool to overcome sexual dysfunction problems.” – Lee Grant, CBT Therapist and Clinical Director at Onebright.

CBT addresses the relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how they all work together, in this case, how they may be negatively impacting you. In some cases, couples therapy may be advised to address any communication problems that could be contributing to the problem.

Which condition do you require support with?

Learn which conditions are treatable with CBT therapy.
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