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The (Too) Fast Lane

Breaking the Pattern
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The Definition Dilemma

The issue of premature ejaculation can be frustrating for researchers not only because of the havoc it can wreak on relationships but also because the medical community hasn't come to agree on the definition. "Some researchers define it by the number of thrusts [after penetration]," Pryor says. Most often mentioned is about 8 to 15.

Pryor prefers the definition he and Metz cite in their review, calling premature ejaculation "the inadvertent and unsatisfying rapid speed of male ejaculation."

Laundry List of Causes

Behind the inability to endure can be many factors. Some men ejaculate too quickly due to an innate "reflex" or physiological predisposition of the nervous system. Sometimes, too-fast ejaculation can be a side effect of taking certain drugs -- even over-the-counter ones such as cold pills. Stress on the job or in a relationship can set up a guy to climax too fast, too.

In other men, the condition is caused by a serious psychological condition such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, or the result of a physical problem, such as a urinary tract infection. Still others haven't learned to manage their bodies' reactions properly during sexual arousal.

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