SINGAPORE - A recent survey among Asia-Pacific couples has shown that nearly one in three men in the region has experienced some form of premature ejaculation (PE).
Notably, 44 per cent of couples in relationships said that PE caused them to grow apart from their partners. In the worst cases, 15 per cent of men and 14 per cent of women said that PE could lead to actual relationship breakdown or divorce.
This could be the result of an unsatisfying sexual component to the relationship. According to the survey results, three in four people in Asia-Pacific want to be more sexually active.
Sexual satisfaction was given high importance with two in three respondents believing that mutual sexual satisfaction plays a very significant role in a successful relationship. Three in five men said that sexually satisfying their partner is very or extremely important to them.
However, nearly four in 10 men are concerned that they are not satisfying their partner. One in three was concerned about ejaculating early and their partner not reaching a climax.
Among respondents who reported PE, 30 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women said that it causes them to avoid sex completely.
Despite the relationship issues caused by PE, most men and women are not talking about it and the major barrier preventing them from doing so is embarrassment.
The survey found that few sufferers have discussed PE with their partner even though they think it is important to do so.
Among respondents who reported PE, only 34 per cent of males have discussed the issue with their partner.
More than half of males with PE said that they are too embarrassed to talk about it. For females, 40 per cent said that they will not bring it up for fear of hurting their partners' feelings.
Even lower are the statistics for men discussing their PE issues with their doctors. The study found that nearly eight in 10 men who have experienced PE using a Premature Ejaculation Diagnosis Tool (PEDT) remain undiagnosed by a specialist.
Lack of understanding, mistaking the condition as a psychological issue and embarrassment led the list of reasons.
More than half of people believe that PE is due to stress, 45 per cent attributed it to fatigue and 41 per cent to anxiety.
Close to 20 per cent believe that there is no treatment for PE, while 17 per cent of men think that PE will disappear in time.
Nearly half said that they have not taken action because of stigma, shame and embarrassment.
One way brought up by the study results on how the stigma can be eased is for women to encourage their partners to see a physician for PE troubles.
Most of the men surveyed said that they would see a physician if their partners asked.
The The Asia-Pacific Sexual Behaviours and Satisfaction Survey was conducted by Kantar Health and commissioned by international pharmaceutical company Menarini. Over 3,500 men and women across nine markets, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, were surveyed.