A recent review paper discusses the possible connection between hyperthyroidism and premature ejaculation (PE).
Published in July 2020 in Sexual Medicine Reviews, the paper analyzes 32 studies on the topic.
Hyperthyroidism (also called overactive thyroid) occurs when a person’s thyroid gland produces more thyroid hormones than necessary. These hormones are essential for many bodily functions, including breathing, heart rate, and digestion.
Excessive amounts of thyroid hormone can interfere with these functions and, in turn, affect sexual function as well. Some men with hyperthyroidism may have trouble with erections, ejaculation, and desire.
The definition of premature ejaculation varies across professional organizations. For example, the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) defines it as follows:
PE is a male sexual dysfunction characterized by:
- ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of vaginal penetration from the first sexual experience (lifelong premature ejaculation), OR, a clinically significant reduction in latency time, often to about 3 minutes or less (acquired premature ejaculation), and
- the inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all vaginal penetrations, and negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration, and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.
Mechanisms that link hyperthyroidism and PE are “not thoroughly understood,” explained the authors of the current paper. They recommended future research and encouraged clinicians to screen for thyroid issues in men who present with PE.
The consulted studies also suggested that treatment for hyperthyroidism might improve PE symptoms. For example, one study of 24 men found that hyperthyroidism treatment generally improved intravaginal ejaculation latency times (IELT – the duration between vaginal penetration and ejaculation). For some men, IELT doubled after treatment.
Managing both PE and hyperthyroidism should be a team effort, the authors said, adding that psychotherapy could help with PE-related distress.
“It is important to investigate this further to improve the diagnosis, management, and treatment of PE with underlying [hyperthyroidism],” they concluded.
International Society for Sexual Medicine
“ISSM Quick Reference Guide to PE”
(Last reviewed: August 20, 2018)
Sexual Medicine Reviews
Tannenbaum, Jacob, BS, et al.
“Hyperthyroidism as an Underlying Cause of Premature Ejaculation”
(Full-text article in press. Published: July 1, 2021)