Yes, delayed ejaculation is a real thing, and it can be caused by both physical and physiological issues. It refers to a man’s inability to reach an orgasm and eject semen from the penis, which can lead to relationship problems and performance anxiety.
In some cases, a delayed ejaculation—or impaired ejaculation—can be a lifelong issue. In other situations, it’s temporary and can be remedied through treatment options or ED products. Most men will experience a delayed ejaculation from time to time throughout their lives, so if you’re recently noticing this type of sexual dysfunction, you’re certainly not alone.
In this article, the experts at Giddy will dive into all you need to know about this condition, so you can take your next steps with confidence.
The Two Categories of Delayed Ejaculations
Delayed ejaculation is typically divided into two categories. Based on symptoms, delayed ejaculation is referred to as either lifelong vs. acquired and generalized vs. situational. These symptoms help healthcare professionals determine the underlying cause of the ejaculation problems and the appropriate treatment options.
Lifelong vs. Acquired
Lifelong delayed ejaculation refers to an issue that has been present since the time of a male’s sexual maturity. In this case, the male has always had difficulty reaching an orgasm. Acquired delayed ejaculation, on the other hand, occurs after there has already been a period of normal sexual functioning. The latter of the two is more common.
Generalized vs. Situational
When delayed ejaculation is referred to as generalized, this means it is not limited to certain sex partners or specific kinds of stimulation. A situational delayed orgasm only happens under certain circumstances.
Symptoms of a Delayed Ejaculation
The average amount of time it takes a man to reach an orgasm varies based on the individual. For this reason, there’s no exact figure as to what's “normal” and what’s not.
Some men who experience delayed ejaculations may take 30 minutes or longer to experience an orgasm and ejaculation; others may not ejaculate at all (known as anejaculation). Even if you’re experiencing a normal erection, if you are taking longer than a half-hour of penetrative sex to experience an ejaculation, this is generally considered a delayed ejaculation.
If a delayed ejaculation is affecting you and your partner’s sex life, this is the first symptom to be aware of. You may notice you’re getting fatigued during sexual activity or you’re experiencing irritation. Your partner may ask you to stop and sexual activity may become frustrating or distressing.
In certain instances, men may have trouble reaching an ejaculation during sexual intercourse with a partner, though they may be able to orgasm during masturbation.
If you do experience delayed ejaculation, it may be the underlying cause of another issue. Because the symptoms and exact reasons for a delayed ejaculation can be unclear, it’s a good idea to look for other symptoms that seem unusual (even if you don’t initially think they’re related).
What Causes a Delayed Ejaculation?
Delayed ejaculation in men can be due to a variety of physiological and physical factors. It can also be caused by medicine or chronic health conditions. Familiarizing yourself with the root causes of delayed ejaculation can help you fine-tune what to discuss with your healthcare provider and hopefully, help you narrow down the correct treatment option.
There are a handful of psychological factors that can impact sexual activity and lead to delayed ejaculation. Here are some common factors to be aware of.
- Relationship problems (caused by poor communication, stress, or other issues)
- Unwillingness to enjoy pleasure
- Performance anxiety when it comes to sexual activity
- Poor body image and low self-esteem
- History of abuse (whether sexual abuse or neglect)
- Religion or cultural issues that affect views on sexual intercourse
- Fear of pregnancy
- Fear of hurting a partner through sexual intercourse
- The sexual reality of being with a partner vs. your sexual fantasies
Physical causes can also result in delayed ejaculation problems in men. These can include birth defects, injuries, diseases, and more.
- Birth defects that affect the male reproductive system
- Injury to pelvic nerves (which control orgasm)
- Infections (such as urinary tract infections)
- Prostate surgery (including transurethral resection of the prostate or prostate removal)
- Neurological diseases
- diabetic neuropathy
- nerve damage to the spinal cord
- Hormone-related conditions like hypogonadism or hypothyroidism
- Retrograde ejaculation, which is a condition where the semen goes back into the bladder instead of ejaculating out the penis (Check out retrograde ejaculation causes)
- Increasing age (as men age, the penis’s sensitivity can decrease and not react a much to sexual stimulation)
Medication can come with various side effects, including delayed ejaculation in men. If you’re taking medication for things like depression or high blood pressure, consider speaking with your doctor about these issues as they may be causing your sexual experience.
- Certain antidepressants (including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs)
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Some high blood pressure medications
- Certain diuretics
- Some antipsychotic medications
- Certain anti-seizure medications
- Some painkillers
- Alcohol (drinking excessive alcohol can lead to delayed ejaculation)
- Recreational drugs
Masturbation Patterns and Delayed Ejaculation
In some cases, there may be a correlation between masturbatory patterns and delayed ejaculation. Clinical professor of psychiatry, reproductive medicine, and urology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, Dr. Michael Perelman, further observed that those with delayed ejaculation reported no issues of orgasm and ejaculation during masturbation. He also found a relationship between delayed ejaculation and the following:
- Masturbating frequently, most often more than three times per week
- A masturbation style that cannot be matched by the individual’s sexual partner (such as high-speed, high-intensity masturbation)
- A sexual relationship with a partner that differs from the fantasy used to reach orgasm during masturbation
- A partner’s hand, mouth, or vagina that does not duplicate the masturbation style used to achieve ejaculation
Complications of Delayed Ejaculations
Delayed ejaculation can lead to various problems—both in the bedroom and out of the bedroom. If you’re experiencing delayed ejaculation, it’s a good idea to tackle the problem head-on. Without it, there may be unpleasant complications down the line.
- Sexual pleasure: Delayed ejaculation in men can lead to sexual dissatisfaction for both you and your partner.
- Stress and anxiety: Delayed ejaculation can also lead to performance anxiety and stress both before, after, and during sexual activity.
- Male infertility: Without ejaculation, male infertility can lead to the inability to get your wife or partner pregnant.
- Relationship problems: Issues with sexual intercourse can eventually lead to relationship problems with your sexual partner and unsatisfactory sex life.
Diagnosis for Delayed Ejaculation
To recommend delayed ejaculation treatment for a patient, a doctor may perform a physical examination as well as discuss your medical history. In certain cases, this is all that’s required; in others, the delayed ejaculation may be caused by another underlying issue, and further tests will be completed.
- Physical exam:
A physical exam may include an examination of the penis and testicles, including touch to assess whether or not you have normal sensations in the genital area.
- Blood test:
A blood test may be used to look for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, a low testosterone level, or other underlying health issues.
- Urine test:
Similar to a blood test, a urine test may be used to look for diabetes, infection, or other underlying health conditions.
Treatment Options for Delayed Ejaculation
Thankfully, there are ways to combat delayed ejaculation. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause of your problem. For example, physiological counseling may be suggested in cases of previous sexual abuse and medication may be used if it seems to be a physical issue.
Various medications may be used to help those experiencing delayed ejaculation. Keep in mind, too much of these medications can also be the cause of delayed ejaculation, so medication might need to be limited or switched. No specific drugs are currently used to treat delayed ejaculation and those that are used, are often used primarily to treat other conditions. They include:
- Amantadine (Parkinson’s medication)
- Buspirone (anti-anxiety medication)
- Cyproheptadine (allergy medication)
Also referred to as psychotherapy, psychological counseling can be used to help address issues with delayed ejaculation in men. When issues like depression or anxiety affect your ability to orgasm and ejaculate, therapy either individually or with your partner can be helpful. Additionally, a sex therapist who specializes specifically in sexual problems can help you address your concerns related to sexual activity.
Eddie by Giddy
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On the opposite end of the spectrum, we cover topics about what is premature ejactulation and all other types of sexual dysfunction in men. With our team of experts in urology, psychology, communication, lifestyle, and sex, we know that both the body and the mind are at play when it comes to sexual activity. Our result is Eddie, an innovative, effective ED treatment.
Take a look around our website to learn more about our treatment and see whether Eddie is a fit for you.
1. Delayed Ejaculation: Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed December 7, 2020.
2. What You Need to Know About Delayed Ejaculation. Medical News Today. URL. Accessed December 7, 2020.
3. Delayed Ejaculation: Diagnosis and Treatment. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed December 7, 2020.