Anejaculation: Causes, Types and Treatment

Hand turning empty cup over, simulating the effects of anejaculation

What is Anejaculation?

Anejaculation (sometimes referred to as aspermia) is a condition where a man is unable to ejaculate semen. Although the body may still be able to produce sperm, no semen is expelled from the penis during orgasm.

Normal orgasmic sensations can sometimes still be experienced by those with this condition, or it could occur with a complete inability to either ejaculate or have an orgasm.

This condition has obvious implications for male fertility and the ability to have a child. There are a number of potential causes for anejaculation, both psychological and medical.

Types of Anejaculation

Anejaculation is divided into two primary categories:

  • Primary Anejaculation – Refers to cases where men have never been able ejaculate semen.
  • Secondary Anejaculation – Refers to a loss of the ability to ejaculate after previously having been able to do so.

This condition can be further subdivided into different types.

Situational Anejaculation

This occurs when men are able to ejaculate in certain situations, but not able to in others. Stress can often contribute to this, such as when their is perceived pressure or “performance anxiety”.

Situational anejaculation also applies when there is an ability to ejaculate through masturbation but not while having intercourse, or vice versa.

Total anejaculation

This refers to when a man is unable to ejaculate under any circumstances. There are two categories for this type of anejaculation.

Anorgasmic anejaculation

This condition is characterized by the inability to have an orgasm during normal waking hours, but nevertheless still being able to produce ejaculate and achieve orgasm while sleeping. These cases are more likely to be caused by psychological factors than physical ones.

Orgasmic anejaculation

This is when a man can still have an orgasm, but not ejaculate his semen. This is typically due to a physical reason, such as nerve damage, a tube blockage, or retrograde ejaculation, where semen is forced back into the bladder rather than out through the penis.


Anejaculation can occur for any number of reasons, including the following:

  • Injury to the spinal cord.
  • Pelvic injury
  • Infection
  • Recreational drug use.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Taking certain prescription drugs that are known to interfere with sexual function.
  • Nerve damage as a result of surgery to the bladder, prostate or abdomen.
  • Lymph node removal, as with treatment for testicular cancer.
  • Diseases affecting the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes.


The cause of anejaculation typically determines the type of treatment. For example, if an infection is found to be the cause, then its treatment should result in improvement.

Treatment might be as simple as talking to your doctor about changing your medication. Another suggestions is to decrease your use of alcohol, or stop drinking alcohol altogether. Also, avoid using illicit and non-prescription drugs.

Situational anejaculation can be treated by simple changes to create a more comfortable and stress-free environment. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a counselor or therapist if you suspect that your condition is psychological.

If there is a physical reason behind your condition, you should consult your doctor to discuss your treatment options. If necessary they can help with arranging sperm retrieval for artificial insemination techniques such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), which is critical when considering male fertility.

Talk to your doctor if you are interested in learning more about the treatment options available for you.

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