Delayed ejaculation, also called retarded ejaculation or inhibited ejaculation, is a man's inability for or persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm, despite typical sexual desire and sexual stimulation. Generally, a man can reach orgasm within a few minutes of active thrusting during sexual intercourse, whereas a man with delayed ejaculation either does not have orgasms at all or cannot have an orgasm until after prolonged intercourse which might last for 30–45 minutes or more. In most cases delayed ejaculation presents the condition in which the man can climax and ejaculate only during masturbation, but not during sexual intercourse. It is the least common of the male sexual dysfunctions, and can result as a side effect of some medications. In one survey, 8% of men reported being unable to achieve orgasm over a 2-month period or longer in the previous year.
Delayed ejaculation can be mild (men who still experience orgasm during intercourse, but only under certain conditions), moderate (cannot ejaculate during intercourse, but can during fellatio or manual stimulation), severe (can ejaculate only when alone), or most severe (cannot ejaculate at all).
Physiological conditions that can cause delayed ejaculation include hypogonadism, thyroid disorders, pituitary disorders such as Cushing's disease, prostate surgery outcome, and drug and alcohol use. Difficulty in achieving orgasm can also result from pelvic surgery that involved trauma to pelvic nerves responsible for orgasm. Some men report a lack of sensation in the nerves of the glans penis, which may or may not be related to external factors, including a history of circumcision.
Psychological and lifestyle factors have been discussed as potential contributors, including insufficient sleep, distraction due to worry, distraction from the environment, anxiety about pleasing his partner and anxiety about relationship problems.
One proposed cause of delayed ejaculation is adaptation to a certain masturbatory technique. The sensations a man feels when masturbating may bear little resemblance to the sensations he experiences during intercourse. Factors such as pressure, angle and grip during masturbation can make for an experience so different from sex with a partner that the ability to ejaculate is reduced or eliminated.
On the same note, it may be the visual factor present in masturbation that may delay regular ejaculation. As the sensation during masturbation is intrinsically linked with the visual input of a sexual model, be it male or female, the diminished view during sex may result in the loss of that link, and as such, delay ejaculation in the man. A possible cure for this may be a better view of the partner during intercourse.
Therapy usually involves homework assignments and exercises intended to help a man get used to having orgasms through insertional intercourse, vaginal, anal, or oral, that is through the way he is not accustomed to. Commonly the couple is advised to go through three stages. At the first stage a man masturbates in the presence of his partner. Sometimes this is not an easy matter as a man might be used to having orgasms alone. After a man learns to ejaculate in the presence of his partner, the couple gets to another stage where the man's hand is replaced with the hand of his partner. Step by step a man learns to ejaculate closer and closer to the desired orifice. In the final stage the receptive partner inserts the insertive partner's penis into the partner's vagina, anus or mouth as soon as the ejaculation is felt to be imminent. Thus a man gradually learns to ejaculate inside the desired orifice.
There is yet no reliable medication for delayed ejaculation. PDE5 inhibitors such as Viagra have little effect. In fact, Viagra has a delaying effect on ejaculation, possibly through additional effect in the brain or decrease of sensitivity in the head of the penis.
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