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Is Premature Ejaculation Psychological or Physical?

Question about Premature Ejaculation CausesFirst Answered: Updated on:

Is it all in my head? Is it my body’s or my mind’s fault? Is Premature Ejaculation Psychological or Physical?

The exact causes of premature ejaculation are only partially understood. Still, we know that both psychological and physical risk factors contribute to the problems.

It is hard to identify the root cause of the problem, but we suspect specific biological factors such as particular hormones and neurotransmitters level to be primary factors. There are also psychological factors (such as anxiety or arousal control) that could cause (or at least contribute) to premature ejaculation. You can read this page on premature ejaculation causes to learn more about all the different causes.

Multiple Subtypes of Premature Ejaculation

One thing to keep in mind is that premature ejaculation is not a single entity. As you can read on the “What is Premature Ejaculation?” page, there are four subtypes of premature ejaculation. It is like four conditions in one. Some researchers presume that each of those subtypes could originate from different causes. For example, specialists suspect that Lifelong PE has more physical cause1 t than subjective PE.

Two sides of the same coin

Another thing to note is that a specific psychological trait has a physical counterpart. For example, we can say that “anxiety” is a psychological risk factor, but this anxiety has a physical correlate. This “anxiety” plays a role in the way your brain and nervous system react. An anxious person’s brain probably has different chemical proprieties than a standard brain. For example, it could have a diminished level of certain neurotransmitters. Thus, the “psychological” risk factor could also be a physical one.

That’s why the question “Is Premature Ejaculation Psychological or Physical” is not necessarily the right question to ask. The real problem is on which level (physical or psychological) we should act.

Psychological and Physical Treatments for Premature Ejaculation.

Treatments for premature ejaculation could work on both levels too.  Sex therapy and masturbation exercises made at home could work on the psychological aspect of PE where some topical products (delay condoms, delay spray, delay cream) or prescription drugs can work on the physical side. Just like PE has multiple causes, combined treatments are often the best way to go. That’s why doctors often prescribe PE drugs alongside a sex therapy. In the same vein, behavioral exercises can benefit from delay products.


  1. Waldinger MD, Berendsen HHG, Blok BFM, Olivier B, Holstege G (1998) Premature ejaculation and SSRI-induced delayed ejaculation: the involvement of the serotonergic system. Behav Brain Res 92:111–118

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