The effort to determine the global burden of premature ejaculation (PE) has been impeded by the lack of a clear and universally accepted definition of the condition. Current diagnostic criteria are variable and rely, to a large degree, on subjective measurements. Moreover, the absence of a clear consensus on what constitutes a normal ejaculatory latency has impeded research into the prevalence of PE, although evidence is gradually accruing that may make this definition easier. Perception of “normal” ejaculatory latency varies by country and can differ when assessed either by the patient or their partner. Despite these limitations, information from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors and other sources suggests a global prevalence of PE of approximately 30% across all age groups. The etiology underpinning this prevalence remains to be clarified, but current evidence reflects a shift from psychogenic theories to more neurobiological bases. While elucidation of the etiology of PE will undoubtedly aid the development of more effective therapies, it is clear that, whatever the cause of the condition, it is associated with a significant burden on psychological and overall health.