Ejaculation difficulties such as rapid or delayed ejaculation

An overview of Delayed Ejaculation

Delayed ejaculation (DE) is a medical condition in which a man has difficulty reaching an orgasm. It should not be confused with erectile dysfunction (the inability to achieve an erection) or decreased libido (low sex drive), although both can sometimes contribute to DE.

DE is not only frustrating to men but can complicate the sex lives of their partners as well. Whereas a male orgasm can normally be achieved within several minutes, DE prolongs ejaculation time by at least 5-7 minutes.During that time, the partner may lose vaginal or anal lubrication or simply lack the energy or will to sustain sex.

Fortunately, there are ways to diagnose and treat DE. Some of the techniques take time but can often improve sexual function and increase the speed by which you climax and ejaculate.

Delayed ejaculation is usually self-evident, especially to those affected. In some cases, the man may feel as if he on the verge of climax but is unable to reach the point of ejaculation. At other times, there may be an erection but no sense of an approaching orgasm.

The condition can range in severity, and symptoms can include:

  • Able to ejaculate during intercourse but only under certain controlled conditions
  • Cannot ejaculate during intercourse but can with oral sex or masturbation
  • Can only ejaculate when alone
  • Unable to ejaculate


Delayed ejaculation may have pathologic, neurological, hormonal, pharmaceutical, or psychological causes. In some cases, there may be overlapping causes that only add to the dysfunction.

Psychological problems can both cause and contribute to DE. Depression, anxiety, or emotional trauma can alone cause dysfunction. Religious or social taboo may interfere with your ability to enjoy sex and reach orgasm. Work stress, financial stress, or stress within the relationship are common narratives among couples experiencing DE.