Anejaculation is the inability to ejaculate semen despite sexual stimulation of the penis via intercourse or masturbation. It’s actually a fairly common problem and can be frustrating for a couple trying to have children since it can also lead to male infertility.
The symptoms presented by anejaculation are not to be confused by those of erectile dysfunction. During anejaculation, a man has a normal libido, gets aroused, has an erection, gets to the orgasm phase but there’s no sperm (which was the male reproductive cells and derived from the Greek word sperma meaning “seed”) that is ejected from the erect penis. After his orgasm, he loses the erection. Because of these conditions, anejaculation is usually self-diagnosed but due to the symptoms, it might be confused for male sexual dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation (previously known as male orgasmic disorder). It’s important to know the differences.
During a retrograde ejaculation, the semen (also known as seminal fluid – it is an organic fluid that may contain sperm and other enzymes that allow the sperm to swim and fertilize an egg) goes backward into the urinary bladder, rather than coming forward. In this case, the post orgasm urine is cloudy. When sent to the lab for examination, the doctor will find sperm in the urine. This is why it’s important to figure out whether it was retrograde ejaculation or anejaculation?
What causes Anejaculation?
There are two types: anorgasmic anejaculation and orgasmic anejaculation. An anorgasmic anejaculation is when a man never reaches an orgasm or sexual climax either via sexual activity such as intercourse or masturbation and therefore can’t ejaculate. There is no physical defect, instead his orgasm is limited by psychological causes and factors like stress therefore, he might need additional sexual stimulation during intercourse to reach an orgasm.
The other type is an orgasmic anejaculation. In this case, a man is fully erect, able to experience an orgasm, but not ejaculate. This could be due to blockage in his tubes or damage to the nerves. This could also be a combination of retrograde ejaculation, which is why it’s important to check the urine post intercourse and/or have an exam by a primary care doctor.
Anejaculation management or treatment will ultimately depend on what the underlying cause of the ejaculation problems and condition; diabetes, high blood pressure meds, antidepressants, or psychological factors like stress, sexual performance anxiety, relationships problems, or even fear of pregnancy. Normally, sex therapy, psychotherapy, and anti-anxiety meds can help with stress associated with situational anejaculation.
To receive treatment for symptoms of anejaculation, start by talking to your primary care doctor, however the catch is, they will ask for either a urine sample or a sperm sample.
How does one give a sperm sample if you can’t ejaculate?
In a relaxed environment, the doctor will create something called “coitus interruptus” – this basically the “pull out method” aka pulling out of a vagina before ejaculation and is often done at home so that a sperm sample can be collected in a beaker. If this is not possible, the doctor will attempt to vibrate the penis in an attempt to stimulate it to reach an orgasm and collect a sample for testing. This type of stimulation results in 60% of ejaculations. If vibrator therapy fails, the doctor will then perform electro-ejaculation. This involves the direct stimulation of the nerves in the seminal vesicles and is also a way to test if the nerves are damaged. During this procedure, the doctor can also check for any blockage and if surgery is needed to clear the blockage in the urethra.
Anejaculation can also be physical. If you have had surgery due to an enlarged prostate, have Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, or diabetes – these can also cause anejaculation. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your doctor and find out what exactly is causing your condition and if there are treatment options available.