What is delayed ejaculation?

If you’re having problems reaching orgasm, you might be experiencing delayed ejaculation. This can happen during masturbation or sex with a partner. It can mean that reaching orgasm takes a lot longer than you’d expect, or that it doesn’t happen at all. While this can often be frustrating, it’s not uncommon, and usually a doctor will be able to find a reason.

Male anatomy_Diagram
What causes delayed ejaculation?

Physical causes of delayed ejaculation can include:

  • Spinal cord injury  

  • Major lymph node surgery  

  • Diabetes  

  • Multiple sclerosis  

  • Painful injury to the pelvic region.

Delayed ejaculation is a common side effect of some antidepressants (especially SSRIs). While relationship difficulties can be a factor, ongoing delayed ejaculation problems without a medical cause are uncommon.

What treatments are there?

If you’re worried about delayed ejaculation, the best thing to do is to visit your doctor.

If you think that antidepressants might be the reason why you’re experiencing delayed ejaculation, you can talk to your doctor or psychiatrist about changing medication.

Sex toys, such as male vibrators, can also be used to help reach orgasm faster. These can be particularly useful if you want to have a baby, as they can help create what’s known as a ‘reflex ejaculation’. You can discuss what might work for you with a sex therapist. If your doctor can’t find a medical reason for your delayed ejaculation, it can help to visit a counsellor or sex therapist who will work with you on any underlying emotional or psychological causes.

Your doctor’s appointment

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What treatment options are available for delayed ejaculation?

  • Could counselling or sex therapy help treat my condition?

Things to think about before your appointment

  • How long does it take to reach a climax (orgasm)?

  • When did this problem start?

  • Is it easier to ejaculate on your own with masturbation?

  • Have you recently had any other health problems or started any new medication?

  • Have you ever had surgery in the pelvic area?

Email these questions to yourself to take into your doctor's appointment.

Resources

Ejaculation Problems Fact Sheet Image Tile

Fact sheet

Ejaculation problems