What Causes Premature Ejaculation?
Premature Ejaculation is a multicausal condition. This means that it doesn’s have a straightforward cause, but several factors that contribute to the situation. In fact, the exact causes of premature ejaculation are still debated by scientists. They are however a lot of known risk factors that could play a role in premature ejaculation.
Risk Factors vs Cause
To better understand what causes premature ejaculation, it helps to get what is a risk factor. You can click the link for a longer explanation, but in short, a risk factor it’s something that increases the chance of having a condition.
For example, we know that men who suffer from anxiety are more prone to premature ejaculation. However, we can’t conclude that anxiety cause premature ejaculation. Still, we suspect that it could worsen an already present problem. So, treating the anxiety disorder could help a man to gain a better control of his ejaculation even if anxiety isn’t the root cause.
There are a lot of risk factors like this that we suspect to aggravate/contribute to premature ejaculation. All those risk factors together cause premature ejaculation, but it’s often difficult to isolate those factors to determine which one has the biggest effect.
Physical vs Psychological Causes
One of the biggest debate in PE history was whether premature ejaculation is a psychological or physical condition. For a long time, specialists thought that PE was curable only with psychologic treatment. Therefore, the scientific community ignored the physical aspect of premature ejaculation.
We now know that PE has organic risk factor1 on top of the psychologic one. For example, recent scientific developments show the impact of neurologic and hormonal factors2.
What Factors Cause Premature Ejaculation?
If we take into consideration all the know risk factors, we can say that premature ejaculation is caused by a combination of psychological and physical conditions. Among the physical conditions, we can point out an imbalanced nervous system (diminished serotonin), a hypersensitivity of the penis and endocrine control (hormones level). On the psychological level, we can point out the lack of psychosexual skill, specific anxiety disorders, social phobia and relational troubles. Erectile dysfunction could also be a risk factor.
You can read more about each cause on the premature ejaculation causes page.
- Risks Factors in Premature Ejaculation: The Neurological Risk Factor and the Local Hypersensitivity (2013) Ibrahim A. Abdel-Hamid, Moheb M. Abdel-Razek and Tarek Anis. Chapter 14 in Premature Ejaculation, from Etiology from diagnosis and treatment, Jannini, Emmanuele, McMahon, Chris G., Waldinger, Marcel D., Springer-Verlag Mailand, 2013 p.5-24
- 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