Some men can have an orgasm without ejaculating. They still have the feeling of having an ejaculation (coming) but little or no semen comes out of the penis.
Many men say dry orgasm feels like a regular orgasm, while some may have reduced sensation.
What is a dry orgasm?
Dry orgasm happens when:
- there is no semen made in the body
- the semen travels backwards into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis. This is called retrograde ejaculation. In this case some people notice their urine is cloudy after a dry orgasm
What are the symptoms of a dry orgasm?
If you have a dry orgasm, you might have very little or even no ejaculate when you reach orgasm.
You might also notice your urine is cloudy when urinating after a dry orgasm.
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.
What causes dry orgasm?
Dry orgasm can happen after some types of surgery to the bladder or prostate. In these cases, something has physically altered the usual flow of semen out through the penis.
Other causes of dry orgasm might be:
- nerve damage due to diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, surgery or a spinal cord injury
- the use of some medicines, such as certain medicines to treat high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate or depression (antidepressant medicines)
- surgery or radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer
- conditions where no sperm is made
- a blocked sperm duct
- lack of the hormone called testosterone
When should I see my doctor?
It’s best to see your doctor about dry orgasms.
You doctor will talk to you about your symptoms, examine you and may recommend you have some tests.
Possible tests may include:
- a urine test
- blood hormone levels
- an ultrasound test or other imaging test
It’s important to remember that dry orgasms are nothing to be embarrassed or shy about. Talking to a health professional about your concerns can often help to reassure you. Your doctor will also be able to provide more advice about your concerns.
What are the treatments for dry orgasm?
Dry orgasms are not really a problem in themselves. But sometimes they can be caused by conditions that need to be treated. They may also need to be treated if you want to have a child.
Depending on the cause, effective treatment may be possible. Talk to your doctor about treatments that may be suitable for you.
Possible treatments include:
- medicines to treat retrograde ejaculation or dry orgasms
- a change in your other medications if they could be causing the problem. (Never change your prescribed medicines without talking to your doctor first.)
- behavioural techniques. For retrograde ejaculation, ejaculating when your bladder is full may help.
If you have fertility problems due to dry orgasms, there are treatments designed to collect sperm for use in fertility treatments.
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Last reviewed: May 2022