Advantages and limitations of current premature ejaculation assessment and diagnostic methods: a review

Shanzun Wei, Changjing Wu, Botao Yu, Ming Ma, Feng Qin, Jiuhong Yuan


Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common male sexual dysfunction worldwide. Characteristic symptoms of PE are unexpected, rapid, complete ejaculation, which negatively impacts the sexual act for both sexual partners. Despite the existence of a definitive PE classification system and various diagnostic tools, diagnosing PE is still challenging due to the limitations associated with the assessment of this condition. Hence, it is necessary to review the diagnostic methods and processes of the physical examination that are currently performed in the medical setting. It is also important to analyze any controversial results of each main PE assessment method and propose novel diagnostic and assessment methods. To date, it is important to verify the accuracy of the PE evaluation method due to the ambiguity of previous definitions and proven invalidity of current examining techniques. Clinical diagnosis is based mainly on the patient history, patient-reported outcome scores, and diagnostic tools. Introduction of intravaginal ejaculatory latency time, penile biothesiometry, and the electrophysiological test provided objective means of evaluating PE. Due to the controversial and inconclusive findings in PE psychogenic and neurogenic etiology, utilizing a single parameter to describe and qualify PE using the aforementioned diagnostic methods provides valuable, but insufficient information for PE diagnosis. There is still a lack of a feasible and plausible means of objective measurement to evaluate the ejaculatory latency and control over ejaculation. Consequently, a comprehensive penile stimulation that simulates sexual intercourse could be useful to record intensity and duration parameters before the ejaculatory threshold, providing a more accurate method of describing and diagnosing PE versus a single chronological observation.