The inability to ejaculate or taking a long time to ejaculate is a sexual dysfunction that can cause distress. Finding treatment can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Sexual dysfunctions can be disruptive to relationships. Anxiety about sex or sexual performance can occur in individuals with sexual dysfunctions.

Some sexual dysfunctions can make it difficult to conceive, and people may have high anxiety about their sexual performance.

When sexual dysfunctions occur, it can be challenging to talk about. One sexual dysfunction is known as delayed ejaculation. You can find treatment for this condition and regain a satisfying sex life.

Delayed ejaculation occurs when there is an inability to ejaculate, or it takes longer than usual to ejaculate. It’s one of the many sexual dysfunctions that can lead to a lack of sexual satisfaction with sexual or relationship partners.

Physical exhaustion during sex and taking longer than usual to ejaculate are standard with this condition. For men, this condition often feels like they’re on the edge of orgasm and can’t finish. It can cause quite a bit of performance anxiety surrounding sex.

Complications of delayed ejaculation

There are various complications of delayed ejaculation. Sexual dysfunction can impact self-esteem, sexual satisfaction, and personal relationships.

Research from 2016 suggests that some complications of delayed ejaculation include:

  • performance anxiety regarding sex
  • higher levels of relationship distress
  • lower levels of sexual arousal
  • higher levels of health issues
  • sexual dissatisfaction
  • lower levels of sexual activity
  • trouble conceiving

These complications can take a toll on an individual’s mental health. There are also some complications involving seeking treatment for delayed ejaculation; many men may see this as a source of shame and embarrassment and may be unlikely to seek treatment.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, text revision (DSM-5-TR), there are two main symptoms of delayed ejaculation:

  • a delay in ejaculation where it takes a significant amount of time to ejaculate
  • absence or infrequent ejaculation

For the symptoms to meet the criteria established by the DSM-5-TR, the challenges with ejaculation must occur 75% to 100% of the time. These troubles must persistently happen for at least 6 months and cause distress or disruption in functioning.

Delayed ejaculation may have several causes. Research from 2018 suggests various factors that may contribute to delayed ejaculation, but these factors aren’t well-understood by researchers.

Potential causes of delayed ejaculation include:

  • fears surrounding various aspects of sex and intimacy
  • internal conflicts regarding sexual orientation
  • aging
  • feeling hostile and holding resentment
  • traits associated with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • performance anxiety
  • numerous medical conditions
  • strong religious convictions that lead to guilt
  • mental health disorders such as depression
  • unusual or strenuous masturbation habits
  • autosexual orientation
  • reduced or diminished sexual desire
  • disparities between fantasies and partner
  • sexual dysfunction of their partner
  • inadequate sexual arousal

All of these factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction. In addition, some antidepressants can cause delayed ejaculation as well. If you have delayed ejaculation, it may be helpful to talk with a medical professional to assess your options for treatment.

Many men don’t seek help for delayed ejaculation. If you have this condition, you may feel ashamed or embarrassed. Treatment doesn’t have to be shameful; it can help you alleviate symptoms leading to an unsatisfying sex life.

Treating delayed ejaculation is dependent on what is causing the condition. Research from 2016 indicates some limited efficacy of the following medications to treat delayed ejaculation:

Before beginning any medication, being honest with your doctor about your medical history and asking about any potential side effects is essential.

Additionally, research indicates another treatment option is the Sexual Tipping Point (STP) Model for treatment of delayed ejaculation.

This therapy focuses on factors that play into sexual dysfunction, such as:

  • biological
  • psychological
  • social
  • cultural

It also educates men on how the interplay of those factors can cause, maintain, and exaggerate sexual dysfunction.

Another aspect of the treatment of delayed ejaculation for many individuals is to treat any medical conditions that can cause sexual dysfunction. Various medical conditions are associated with delayed ejaculation, and speaking to a medical professional to rule out any medical causes can also help treat symptoms.

Sexual dysfunctions like delayed ejaculation also have many psychological causes. Therefore, therapy, specifically sex therapy, can help treat sexual dysfunctions and improve relationship well-being.

The key defining feature of delayed ejaculation is that it takes a long time to ejaculate, or ejaculation never occurs. These situations where delayed ejaculation or absence of ejaculation occurs happen persistently, and the difficulties persist for at least six months.

The frustrations and challenges associated with delayed ejaculation can cause psychological distress and conflict in romantic and sexual relationships.

Treatment options range from medication to sex therapy. Treatment of delayed ejaculation can help, but you must be willing to speak with someone about the condition to find the appropriate treatment.

To learn more about sex therapy to treat delayed ejaculation, consider visiting the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapist’s referral directory to find a sex therapist near you.

Remember, a healthy sex life and relationship are possible. There’s no shame in getting help to improve your overall well-being.