Everything you need to know about dry orgasms

Cumming without ejaculating is called a dry orgasm and it can be caused by a range of health conditions, treatments and medications. If you’re experiencing dry orgasms, it’s best to get to the bottom of it, so book an appointment to see your doctor. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about dry orgasms.

What is a dry orgasm?

You usually release between 1.25 to 5 millilitres of semen when you ejaculate. This is around a quarter of a teaspoon to one teaspoon.

A dry orgasm is when you climax without ejaculating. You feel the physical sensations of an orgasm, but little or no semen is released. Many men say a dry orgasm feels like a regular orgasm, while some may have reduced sensation.

What causes dry orgasms?

A dry orgasm happens when your body doesn’t make semen or semen travels backwards into the bladder instead of coming out of your penis (this is called retrograde ejaculation and you might notice cloudy urine if that’s what you’re experiencing). 

Dry orgasm can be caused by:

  • Surgery to the bladder or prostate
  • Use of certain medicines, including those used to treat high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate or depression
  • Nerve damage due to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, surgery or spinal cord injury
  • Radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer
  • Conditions where no sperm is made
  • A blocked sperm duct
  • Low testosterone

You can also have a dry orgasm if you’ve recently ejaculated multiple times and your body has temporarily run out of seminal fluid. Some people also try to have dry orgasms on purpose when practising semen retention or trying to have sex for longer. 

What do dry orgasms mean for my health? And should I see a doctor?

If your dry orgasm is a one-off, there’s probably no need to be concerned. If you’re experiencing them more than that, see a doctor. Dry orgasms won’t impact your health but they can be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs to be treated. This is especially the case if you’re trying to conceive. 
Your doctor will chat to you about your symptoms, do a genital examination and may send you to do a urine test, a blood test and an ultrasound. 

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