Men working shifts can suffer from premature ejaculation

PHOTO: Freepik

Did you know that working night shifts could be affecting more than just your sleep? New research has found a link between shift work and premature ejaculation (PE) in men. This connection stems from disruptions in your body’s natural rhythms, affecting hormone levels and neurotransmitter activity.

What is shift work sleep disorder?

Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) is a condition affecting individuals who work irregular hours, especially those alternating between day and night shifts. People with SWSD often suffer from insomnia, excessive sleepiness, or both, leading to a host of physical and mental health issues. Men with SWSD may experience lower testosterone levels, an increased risk of hypogonadism, and problems with reproductive health, including PE.

The study: Exploring the connection

A recent study published in BMC Public Health investigated the relationship between SWSD, shift work, and PE. Researchers hypothesised that sleep disturbances and shift work indirectly influence PE through the secretion of central neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, are crucial for regulating sleep and sexual function.

premature ejaculation
Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

Research methods

The study involved 1,239 men from various regions in China, conducted between April and October 2023. Among them, 399 were shift workers, and 148 reported having SWSD. The researchers used several tools to assess participants’ sleep quality, ejaculatory control, and erectile function. By analysing these data, they identified specific risk factors associated with PE.

Key findings

The study confirmed that men working night shifts, especially those with SWSD, were more likely to report issues with PE. Shift work of less than one year did not significantly impact PE, but longer durations, particularly over three years, showed a marked increase in PE risk. Younger men were more likely to work shifts and suffer from SWSD, raising concerns about their reproductive health.

Several risk factors for PE were identified, including:

  • Less than six hours of sleep each day
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Frequent alcohol use
  • Diabetes and hyperlipidemia
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Being overweight or older than 45 years

Metabolic changes caused by shift work can lead to psychological and mental disorders, influencing neurotransmitter secretion. These changes also affect insulin and glucagon secretion, disrupting metabolic balance and increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are also risk factors for PE. Additionally, SWSD and shift work can lead to hypogonadism and impaired erectile function, further contributing to PE.

premature ejaculation
Photo by Evgeniya Shustikova on Unsplash

What can be done?

The study suggests that addressing sleep quality and managing shift work schedules could help reduce the risk of PE. Ensuring adequate sleep, maintaining regular eating habits, and fostering a positive mental outlook are crucial. Shift workers experiencing symptoms of SWSD should adjust their sleep and work schedules and seek medical advice when necessary.

This study highlights the significant impact of shift work and SWSD on male sexual health, particularly PE. With the increasing prevalence of shift work in various industries, it is essential to recognise and address these health risks. Future research should continue to explore the mechanisms behind these findings to develop effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Should you be having Premature ejaculation issues and need to consult a medical specialist, do not hesitate to contact MyMediTravel, the leading global medical concierge to find consultation and solutions for your issue.


Dr. Nikhil Prasad

Dr. Nikhil Prasad is an independent researcher, medical, pharma and health PR consultant, herbalists and phytochemical specialists and a medical and health writer for numerous international publications and sites including his own sites such as Thailand Medical News. He is based either at Sydney, New York, Shanghai, Mumbai or Bangkok.

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