Delayed ejaculation

Delayed ejaculation — sometimes called impaired ejaculation — is a condition in which it takes an extended period of sexual stimulation for a man to reach sexual climax and release semen from the penis (ejaculate). Some men with delayed ejaculation are unable to ejaculate at all.

Delayed ejaculation can be temporary or a lifelong problem. Possible causes of delayed ejaculation include certain chronic health conditions, surgeries and medications. Treatment for delayed ejaculation depends on the underlying cause.

It's normal for men to have delayed ejaculation from time to time. Delayed ejaculation is only a problem if it's ongoing or causes stress for you or your partner.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Some men with delayed ejaculation need 30 minutes or more of sexual stimulation to have an orgasm and ejaculate, or they may not be able to ejaculate at all (anejaculation). In the most common form of delayed ejaculation, a man can't reach orgasm during sexual intercourse — but can ejaculate with oral or manual stimulation of the penis. Some men can ejaculate only when masturbating.

Delayed orgasm is divided into the following types based on symptoms:

  • Lifelong vs. acquired. With lifelong delayed ejaculation, the problem is present from the time a male reaches sexual maturity. Acquired delayed ejaculation occurs after a period of normal sexual functioning.
  • Generalized vs. situational. Generalized delayed ejaculation isn't limited to certain sex partners or certain kinds of stimulation. Situational delayed ejaculation occurs only under certain circumstances.

These categories help in diagnosing an underlying cause, and determining what might be the most effective treatment.

When to see a doctor

Your family doctor is a good place to start when you have delayed ejaculation. See your doctor if:

  • Delayed ejaculation is an issue for you or your partner
  • You have another known health problem that may be linked to delayed ejaculation, or you take medications that could be causing the problem
  • You have other symptoms along with delayed ejaculation that may or may not seem related

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