Anejaculation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

The male reproductive system plays an important part in the ability to reproduce and enjoy sexual activities. 

At the point of climax, the genitals release semen, which is a critical part of the reproduction process. 

Unfortunately, ejaculatory disorders seem to be relatively common in the male population. 

Different types of ejaculatory disorders exist, with each affecting men in a unique way. 

One study reports that problems with the ability to ejaculate are one of the most common problems that affect the sexual well-being of men. 

While premature ejaculation is the most common type of ejaculatory disorder, there are others that need to be addressed too. 

In this post, we turn our focus to anejaculation. This ejaculatory problem can cause issues with a man’s ability to reproduce. We take a look at what it is, what the symptoms are, and why anejaculation can develop. 

What Is Anejaculation?

Anejaculation is a type of ejaculatory disorder that affects a man’s ability to release semen when they reach climax during sexual activity. When a man has anejaculation, it means he is unable to excrete semen when they are participating in sexual activity. 

In a normal situation, a man would release semen from the tip of their penis when they reach climax. With anejaculation, the man will notice that no semen comes out during the climax point. 

It should be noted that anejaculation does not always affect a man’s ability to experience pleasure when they have an orgasm. A large number of men still experience this pleasure but cannot ejaculate semen. 

Anejaculation is generally classified into two different categories. It is important to understand the two categories, as this affects the potential treatments and the underlying factors that need to be taken into consideration. 

Primary Anejaculation

Primary anejaculation refers to a situation where the man has never been able to release semen during sexual activity. This is not as common as the other type of anejaculation, but it is still a possibility that should be considered. 

Men with primary anejaculation may have structural problems that make it impossible for semen to move toward the urethra, which plays an important part in the ejaculation process. 

Secondary Anejaculation

In cases where a man is diagnosed with secondary anejaculation, it means they were able to ejaculate normally in previous situations. This is a more common form of anejaculation. 

Secondary anejaculation is generally caused by an underlying condition or problem, which makes the treatment process simpler in many situations. Doctors will usually aim to determine the reason for the sudden development of secondary anejaculation. This cause is then used as a target for a treatment program presented to the patient. 

Symptoms

The symptoms that are associated with anejaculation are often divided into two major groups. A healthcare provider will often initiate the diagnosis and treatment process by first considering in which of these two categories the symptoms of the man falls. 

Situational Anejaculation Symptoms

A large number of men with the condition experience symptoms that are generally referred to as “situational”. This means the man will not experience anejaculation in every scenario. 

Some men are able to ejaculate when they masturbate but experience anejaculation in cases where they have sexual intercourse. In certain situations, the opposite may be true – the man can ejaculate during sex, but not when he masturbates. 

Among men with situational anejaculation, the symptoms may also become present when the individual is faced with a stressful situation. When the man finds themselves in a more relaxed setting, then they find that the anejaculation does not affect them at the time. 

Total Anejaculation Symptoms

While some men experience situational symptoms, others may rather have total anejaculation. In this particular scenario, the man is unable to ejaculate at all. This includes relaxed and stressful situations. 

Ejaculation does not occur regardless of sexual activity, be it through masturbation or sex. In the case of total anejaculation, the problem is often further divided into anorgasmic anejaculation and orgasmic anejaculation. 

In cases where the person has anorgasmic anejaculation, psychological factors are often found to be the underlying elements that play a role in the condition. With orgasmic anejaculation, the man can experience an orgasm like they normally do, but no semen comes out of their penis. 

Causes

There are many reasons why a man may experience anejaculation. In the majority of cases, an underlying medical condition or problem lies behind the symptoms that the patient experiences. It is, however, important to note that the causes differ between primary and secondary anejaculation. 

In cases where a man has primary anejaculation, there are usually problems with the structure of the reproductive tract. 

With secondary anejaculation, healthcare providers will first need to look for the possibility of retrograde ejaculation. In this case, the semen is not pushed out of the penis but rather upward to the bladder. This can also result in no semen coming out when the man ejaculates. 

Once retrograde ejaculation is ruled out as a possibility, the healthcare provider can start to look at other potential causes. 

Due to a large number of contributing factors and causes, doctors may need to perform a large number of tests to determine why the patient is experiencing the symptoms. 

Some of the possible reasons for secondary anejaculation in men include:

  • An infection that affects any part of the pelvic region can also be a cause behind anejaculation. 

  • If the man had experienced a traumatic injury to the groin previously, then this is also a possible cause. 

  • Certain injuries to the spinal cord can affect ejaculatory control as well, which may lead to the development of anejaculation. 

  • In cases where the man had surgery in the pelvic area, the possibility of nerve damage needs to be taken into consideration. 

  • There are also certain medications that have been shown to affect ejaculations. In cases where a man takes alpha-blockers, this needs to be looked at as well. 

It is important to note that anejaculation does not always relate to physiological causes. There are scenarios where psychological factors also play a part in the development of this ejaculatory disorder. 

In cases where there are psychological factors involved, the man likely experiences anxiety. Situations like a man facing problems with his marriage may also result in these symptoms. 

This is sometimes referred to as psychogenic anejaculation. Psychological factors are also common in men with premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, and even sometimes in cases where a man experiences retrograde ejaculation. 

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How It Affects Your Sex Life

When considering the impact of anejaculation on a man’s sex life, it is important to note a few factors. In the majority of cases, the man’s testicles continue to produce sperm, even though nothing is excreted when he has an orgasm. 

Furthermore, it should be noted that men with this ejaculatory disorder are usually still able to find sex enjoyable, as an orgasm does provide them with a pleasurable feeling. 

With this in mind, a lot of men find that anejaculation does not have a serious impact on their sex life. The condition does not have an impact on the man’s ability to have an erection. Overall, the major factor that becomes a concern with anejaculation is when the man is planning to have kids. 

Complications

Anejaculation itself is not likely to cause any serious complications, but there are underlying factors that need to be taken into account. When it is caused by a problem like an infection, then this can lead to complications. 

Untreated, an infection in the prostate can spread to surrounding tissues and even leak into the blood circulatory system. Thus, it is important to avoid delaying treatment when there are underlying conditions contributing to the anejaculation symptoms. 

Can It Cause Infertility?

It is known that certain ejaculatory disorders may be related to an increased risk of infertility. This includes anejaculation. 

Here, we should consider the physiological effects that anejaculation has on the man’s reproductive system. In a situation where the man has the condition, it means they are unable to ejaculate. 

To conceive, a man needs to ejaculate semen when he has an orgasm. When there is no semen released from the penis, it results in the inability to reproduce. 

While this is true, it should be noted that there are methods that men can opt for when they are looking to conceive with anejaculation. For example, a couple may consider artificial insemination as a countermeasure. 

In this case, sperm is retrieved from the man’s testicles. The sperm is then artificially injected into the woman’s uterus. This can be an effective way of reaching pregnancy when a man experiences complete anejaculation. 

Due to the limited number of sperm that may be retrievable, there are cases where intracytoplasmic sperm is used to assist with fertility. In this scenario, a single sperm cell can generally be used as a way to fertilize multiple eggs. 

When To See A Doctor

When a man experiences symptoms of anejaculation, they may not want to visit a doctor right away. Most men consider these types of symptoms confidential and may even feel embarrassed to talk to a doctor about the problems they experience. 

While there are scenarios that do not call for a doctor’s visit, it is important for men to understand when medical assistance becomes a necessity. 

When the anejaculation is accompanied by pain in the pelvic region, discomfort, and inflammation, it is important to see a doctor. This may be signs of an infection that affects the prostate gland or even the testicles. A fever and swollen glands may also be present in such a situation. 

Another reason to see a doctor is when a couple decides to have kids. In these cases, the doctor may be able to suggest alternative methods for achieving pregnancy. 

Treatment

Not every treatment program for men will be the same, as the causes behind the condition differ. The first step to providing effective treatment protocols lies in diagnosing the ejaculatory disorder – and this means finding out why the man experiences these symptoms. 

A doctor will look at the man’s medical history and conduct a physical examination. This helps them determine if there are any medical conditions that are affecting ejaculatory control. 

The treatment provided will focus on addressing the underlying causes that are contributing to the anejaculation symptoms. For example, in a case where a man has an infection, the doctor will prescribe them a course of antibiotics. When antibiotics help to treat the infection, symptoms of anejaculation are likely to improve as well. 

In situations where the man has psychological anejaculation, therapy may be considered an effective treatment option. In these situations, the man may also experience additional symptoms, such as erectile dysfunction. The therapy will focus on providing a treatment option for the collective symptoms that the man experiences. 

Conclusion

The development of anejaculation can result in a serious concern among the male population. When you develop this condition, you are unable to ejaculate sperm. This can have a significant impact on your ability to reproduce. 

Fortunately, there are several treatment options for secondary anejaculation, which often helps to improve symptoms and restore the ability to ejaculate semen. It is important to understand the causes behind this ejaculatory disorder, as this provides a clearer view of the potential treatments that may work most effectively.

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Sources

  1. Jannini EA, Lenzi A. Ejaculatory disorders: epidemiology and current approaches to definition, classification and subtyping. World J Urol. 2005. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15902473/
  2. Orum MH, Egilmez OB. Successfully treatment of intercourse anejaculation with psychosexual counseling: A very rare case of situational anejaculation specific to penetrative sex with the wife. Rev Int Androl. 2020. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30473331/
  3. Davis NG, Silberman M. Bacterial Acute Prostatitis. [Updated 2021 Oct 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459257/
Alternative Text

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Founder of Zayed MD, Dr. Ahmed believes in making the knowledge as accessible as possible to patients. He had his work featured in reputable publications such as The Huffington Post. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends​ his time outside the hospital at the gym or with a good book.

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