The premature ejaculation gene

May 18, 2012

Men who suffer from premature ejaculation may be able to blame their genes, research suggests.

A study of nearly 200 Dutch men found those who climaxed too soon during intercourse had an alternative version of a gene that controls the hormone Serotonin. Men having this version ejaculated twice as quickly as other men in the study, with researchers at the University of Utrecht suggesting to the Journal of Sexual Medicine that levels of Serotonin actually control the rapidity of ejaculation.

Premature or rapid ejaculation affects between 30 to 40% of men, although experts have disagreed on this number and definition.

In May, the International Society for Sexual Medicine suggested that premature ejaculation was defined by reaching orgasm within 60 seconds during sexual intercourse and, as a consequence, feeling distressed and embarrassed afterwards.

Is not in the mind?

Volunteers in Dr Marcel Waldinger’s study consisted of 89 men who claimed to experience primary premature ejaculation, meaning that since their first sexual encounter, they had always suffered from the condition. For one month, their female partners were asked to use a stopwatch at home to measure the time until ejaculation each time they had sexual intercourse. The results demonstrated that premature ejaculation is definitely not purely psychological.

The results were compared with those of 92 men who had no history of such problems. In the men with premature ejaculation, serotonin appeared to be less active between the nerves in the section of the brain that controls ejaculation.

Dr Waldinger expressed that this low hormone activity signified that nerve signals did not transfer in a normal way.

This contradicts the idea, which has been common knowledge for years, that the primary form of premature ejaculation is a psychological disorder,” he said.

He also claimed that the findings highlighted the idea that in future it may be possible to treat the condition with gene therapy, manipulating the premature ejaculation gene.

Paula Hall, a sexual psychotherapist for Relate- the relationship counsellors, said: “Premature ejaculation is definitely not purely psychological.”

But there can be a psychological element. The acid test is how much control they have on their own. If the problem only occurs with their partner then it is more likely to be psychological.

She stated that men with primary premature ejaculation tended to have faster general reaction times.

“These men have very quick reflexes. They may be excellent at playing tennis or computer games, for example.”

At present, there is no medication for this condition available on the market.

Alternative treatments can involve counselling and the use of anti-depressants – not for depression but for the unexpected, yet desirable, side effect of delaying ejaculation.

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