Sex Tips

Does Circumcision Affect Men’s Odds of Having Premature Ejaculation?

July 19, 2017 by Justin Lehmiller

A reader asked the following question:

“Are circumcised men less likely to have premature ejaculation?”

People have long been curious about what effects circumcision (or removal of the penile foreskin) has on men’s sexual functioning in general, as well as their overall penile sensation; however, we’ll stick to your question here and look at whether this procedure is linked specifically to premature ejaculation.

As it turns out, a scientific review paper published earlier this year explored this very question [1]. In it, they reviewed the results of 12 different studies that, combined, involved over 20,000 men. All of these studies assessed circumcision status in relation to various indicators of male sexual functioning, including premature ejaculation and orgasmic difficulties.

Some had argued previously that circumcision should reduce the odds of premature ejaculation because removal of the foreskin necessarily reduces sensitivity of the penis.

Contrary to this argument, however, this review paper found that there were no statistically significant differences in premature ejaculation between circumcised and uncircumcised men. In other words, circumcision appears to make no difference in terms of whether a man ejaculates prematurely. Likewise, there were no differences in reports of difficulty reaching orgasm depending on circumcision status.

This is consistent with the results of a meta-analysis published a few years earlier in different journal, which likewise reported no differences in premature ejaculation or orgasmic difficulties [2].

So, in sum, it doesn’t seem that circumcised men are any more or any less likely to ejaculate prematurely.

To learn more about research on circumcision, including a critical look at the link between circumcision and sexual health, click here.

For more answers to readers’ sex questions, click here. To send in your own question, click here.

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[1] Yang, Y., Wang, X., Bai, Y., & Han, P. (2017). Circumcision does not have effect on premature ejaculation: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Andrologia.

[2] Morris, B. J., & Krieger, J. N. (2013). Does male circumcision affect sexual function, sensitivity, or satisfaction? A systematic review. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10(11), 2644-2657.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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