Relationship between Premature Ejaculation and Depression in Korean Males


Sang Hoon Song, MD, MS, Department of Urology, Jeungpyung Health Center, Naeseong-Ri, Jeungpyueong-Eup, Jeungpyung-Gun, Chungbuk-Do, Korea. Tel: +82-10-9262-3355; Fax: +82-43-835-3095; E-mail:


Introduction.  The psychological impacts of premature ejaculation (PE), which include guilt, anxiety, and distress, have been well established in Western countries. However, in Asia, although a substantial number of epidemiological studies have surveyed the prevalence of PE, researchers have not thoroughly investigated the relationship between PE and depression, or have defined PE properly.

Aim.  We studied the association between PE and depression and other psychological disturbances, in a Korean cohort by applying an appropriate definition for PE and validated outcome measures of depression.

Methods.  A total of 956 males (≥20 years) were initially approached via an Internet survey company. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire requesting detailed medical and sexual histories, which included questions from the Erectile Function Domain score in the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-EF) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The prevalence of PE was evaluated using two different definitions—self-assessed PE and presumed PE. Presumed PE was defined as a short ejaculation time (an estimated intravaginal ejaculatory latency time ≤5 minutes), an inability to control ejaculation, and the presence of distress resulting from PE.

Main Outcome Measures.  Ejaculation-related questionnaire, the IIEF-EF, and BDI.

Results.  A total of 334 men were evaluated. The prevalence of PE was 10.5% according to the Presumed PE definition, whereas by self-assessment, it was 25.4%. Self-assessed PE patients suffered from various psychological problems, such as depression, low self-esteem, bother, and low sexual satisfaction. Even after excluding erectile dysfunction (ED) subjects, a significant relationship was found between self-assessed PE and depression. Moreover, after further classification of the Self-assessed PE group, we found that subjects included in this group, but not in the Presumed PE group, suffered more from psychological burden than any other members of the cohort.

Conclusion.  Korean men with subjective perceptions of PE are prone to various psychological problems, which include depression. Son H, Song SH, Lee J-Y, and Paick J-S. Relationship between premature ejaculation and depression in Korean males. J Sex Med 2011;8:2062–2070.