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Delayed ejaculation

2-minute read

Some men find that they can only reach orgasm (come) and ejaculate after long periods of stimulation, even though they have the normal desire and a normal erection. Some men cannot ejaculate at all. This may or may not cause problems or embarrassment.

You may have delayed ejaculation if:

  • you cannot ejaculate when you want to for 30 to 60 minutes
  • you cannot ejaculate at least half the times you have sex

Delayed ejaculation can be a temporary or a lifelong problem. It is normal for some men to experience it from time to time. It is only a problem if it is worrying you or your partner.

Delayed ejaculation causes

Many medicines cause delayed ejaculation, including antidepressants, steroids, pain killers and some medicines for high blood pressure and heart disease. Alcohol also causes delayed ejaculation for many men.

There can be physical reasons for delayed ejaculation, such as surgery to the area, problems with nerves or the spinal cord, some hormonal conditions, chronic illnesses like diabetes or multiple sclerosis, or increasing age. Intermittent delayed ejaculation may be due to ageing.

And there can also be psychological reasons, such as anxiety, depression and relationship issues.

Delayed ejaculation treatments

If medicines are causing delayed ejaculation, you should discuss with your doctor whether or not there are alternatives, and whether or not the delay matters to you and your partner.

If there is a physical cause, there may be a treatment that can help.

If there are psychological causes, then the best approach is to talk to your partner and then consider to seek counselling and therapy.

You should not be embarrassed or shy about your ejaculation problems. Talking to your partner or a health professional about your concerns can often help to reassure you. Your doctor will also be able to provide more advice about your concern and if necessary refer you to a specialist.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your delayed ejaculation, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2019

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