Ask the Doc: What’s a ‘normal’ length of time to last during sex?


When I have sex with my partner, I always ejaculate earlier than I want to. What’s a normal length of time to last during sex? I think what I’m experiencing is premature ejaculation. I read online that anti-depressants can help by causing delayed ejaculation. Is this true?


During sexual intercourse, most men ejaculate between 5-10 minutes and research has shown the average time to ejaculate after penetration is five and a half minutes.

Usually, ejaculation less than one to one and a half minutes after penetration is regarded as premature ejaculation. But if this causes no distress to either partner, no treatment is necessarily required. The presence of distress in association with quick ejaculation often indicates the need for treatment.

There are a few treatments including behavioural exercises, use of condoms and anaesthetic spray, as well as anti-depressant medication (also known as SSRI). This requires a doctor’s prescription and comes in two forms. SSRI medication is a very successful treatment for depression but it has a significant side effect of delaying ejaculation which is why it’s sometimes prescribed for men with premature ejaculation.

Want to learn more about premature ejaculation? Check out the information on our premature ejaculation page or browse through our resource library for fact sheets, information guides and videos on retrograde ejaculation and other ejaculation and erectile problems.

Dr Michael Lowy

Michael Lowy

Sexual health physician

Dr Michael Lowy is a sexual health physician specialising in men’s health conditions, sexual medicine and counselling. Dr Lowy is specifically trained in the treatment of male sexual dysfunction (libido, erection, ejaculation disorders), and relationship and sexual problems affecting individuals and couples.


Sexual health

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