Some men can have an orgasm without ejaculating at all. They still have the feeling of having an ejaculation (coming) but no semen comes out. Either there is no semen produced, or the semen travels backwards into the bladder instead.
Sometimes dry orgasm can happen after surgery to the bladder or prostate, which stops semen from being produced. Or it can happen after radiotherapy to the pelvis. In these cases, something has physically altered the usual flow of semen through the urethra and out the penis.
It can also happen with:
- nerve damage after diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS) or a spinal cord injury
- the use of some medicines to treat high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate or mental health disorders
- surgery or radiotherapy to treat prostate cancer
- congenital conditions where no sperm is made
- a blocked sperm duct
- retrograde ejaculation (when semen travels backwards into the bladder instead of out of the penis through the urethra)
It is best to see your doctor about dry orgasms. You doctor will talk to you, examine you and may ask you to have some tests.
Dry orgasms are not really a problem unless you want to have a child. If this is the case, then you would want to have treatment to correct it. Depending on the cause, effective treatment may be possible.
It is important to remember that dry orgasms are nothing to be embarrassed or shy about. 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 concerns.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your dry orgasm, why not use 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).
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Last reviewed: November 2019