What Is Weak Ejaculation?
Weak ejaculation occurs when there is a decrease in the force of a man’s ejaculation, or a decrease in the volume of semen that he ejaculates. This condition is also referred to as delayed or inhibited ejaculation.
There is seldom a need for concern if you experience occasional weak ejaculations. Men commonly experience problems with ejaculation, especially as they age.
Those who experience persistent changes in their ejaculation, however, should consult their doctor. In certain situations, weak ejaculation may cause a decrease in fertility or be a symptom of an underlying medical disorder.
Weak ejaculation can have many potential causes, and may be due to either physical or psychological factors. Sometimes, both of these may be involved.
Currently, the FDA has not approved any medications to treat weak ejaculation. For this reason, men may need to explore different approaches or therapies to improve their sexual function.
Signs and Symptoms
The two main symptoms of weak ejaculation are
- Decreased ejaculation strength.
- Decreased semen volume.
Men who have weak ejaculation may also experience less intensity of their orgasms. As men age, the likelihood of this occurring increases.
The average volume of semen that a man ejaculates is between 1.25 and 5 ml (milliliters). This is equivalent to 1/4 teaspoon up to one full teaspoon of semen.(1)
Keep in mind that semen volume can vary. A man who hasn’t ejaculated in a number of days is more likely to ejaculate a greater amount of semen than a man who has ejaculated more recently.
Additionally, some men naturally produce a smaller volume of ejaculate, even though their sperm counts may be normal.
One review of research studies suggested that having an ejaculation volume that’s below 2 ml on two different occasions may indicate an underlying medical condition.(2)
Ejaculation can be affected by many factors. For example, conditions affecting the nerves and/or muscles involved in ejaculation could result in orgasms that are weaker than normal.
Here are some of the possible causes for weak ejaculation.
As a man ages, his ejaculation strength and semen volume may decline. This is often due to reduced levels male sex hormones (androgens) or weakened pelvic floor muscles:
- Diminished Hormone Production – Androgens are male hormones that are responsible for making sex enjoyable. These hormone levels diminish as you age. A substantial drop in androgens can cause weaker orgasms.
- Weak Pelvic Muscles – The muscles that force semen out of the body weaken as you get older. The strength of your ejaculation can decrease if these muscles become weaker due to age.
The following psychological factors may all impact a man’s ability to ejaculate:
- A history of depression
- Relationship problems
- Previous psychological trauma
Ejaculation can be adversely affected by damage to the nerves of the bladder, prostate, spinal cord or other areas. Men who have diabetes may be particularly susceptible to ejaculation problems due to nerve damage.
In some cases, men can develop retrograde ejaculation as a result of damaged nerves. This is a disorder where a partial or entire amount of semen is ejaculated into the bladder rather than out through the penis (see below).
During normal ejaculation, semen is forced through the urethra and out of the penis. There is a valve located between the urethra and the bladder (urinary sphincter) that keeps semen from going the opposite way into the bladder.
For men with a condition known as retrograde ejaculation, this valve remains open. This allows semen to travel back into the bladder rather than out of the penis.
Men with retrograde ejaculation may experience weak ejaculations or no ejaculate at all. Retrograde ejaculation can be caused by:
- Surgical procedures used to treat an enlarged prostate, prostate or testicular cancer, or to correct urinary flow problems.
- Medications used for treating prostate cancer, depression or hypertension.
- Nerve damage due to conditions such as diabetes or MS.
- Injuries to the spinal cord.
Some medications may also cause weak and/or delayed ejaculation. Some of these include:
- Antidepressants, particularly SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors).
- Antipsychotic medications.
- Beta-blockers and other medications for hypertension.
- Muscle relaxers.
- Strong analgesics, such as methadone.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned that your medication could be causing ejaculation issues. Use of your prescription medications should not be stopped without the approval of your doctor.
Ejaculation can be affected by having an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Men who have undergone prostate surgery could experience ejaculation changes as result of nerve damage received during surgery.
Alcohol consumption can reduce penile blood flow and depresses the central nervous system. This can lead to a decrease in sexual response and stimulation.
Certain sexual positions used during sex can affect semen flow and/or orgasm intensity. Engaging in a shorter duration of sexual stimulation may also lead to less-than-satisfactory orgasms.
Treatment For Weak Ejaculation
Treatments to correct weak ejaculation are dependent upon the underlying cause. Here are some possible treatments that may prove to be effective.
Under certain circumstances, you doctor may suggest performing Kegel exercises, or another form of exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These are the same muscles that you feel when stopping your urine flow midstream.
These exercises strengthen the muscles involved with ejaculation. Kegel exercises may also prove to be especially helpful for men with ejaculation problems that are due to aging.
Kegel exercise involve tightening and releasing your pelvic floor muscles. Men practicing these exercises should contract their muscles for five seconds each time, then let go. This process can be repeated 10-20 times to complete one set. Aim to do 3-4 sets daily.
At this time there are no medications approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat weak ejaculation. Nevertheless, there are a number of drugs doctors may prescribe to improve sexual function.
The underlying cause of the weak ejaculation will determine the type of medicine that a doctor recommends. Some examples of the medications that appear to show benefit include:(3)
Retrograde ejaculation can be treated with certain medications that keep your bladder sphincter closed when you ejaculate.
Ask your doctor about switching to a different medication is you believe medication you are currently taking is causing weak ejaculation. Following good diabetes management practices can go a long way to help the condition as well.
Your doctor may ask about any potential psychological factors that might be contributing to your sexual function. He or she can often refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist if necessary.
Some supplements are promoted to treat weak ejaculation. These products are typically used to increase semen volume and orgasm intensity, and enhance erection quality as well.
Some of the most effective semen-increasing supplements include:
Side effects can be caused by many ingredients that are commonly found in herbal supplements, so make sure that you consult your doctor before taking any.
When Should You See A Doctor?
A weak ejaculation is not usually a sign of a serious medical condition. Even so, it can be extremely concerning for those who experience it often. Any man who has had recurring episodes of weak ejaculation over a 6-month period should consult their doctor to determine the cause.
Additionally, if you think changes in your ejaculation may be affecting your fertility, you should consult a doctor. If you have been trying to conceive for some time without success, this could be the cause.
Schedule an appointment to see a doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Your ejaculations are weaker or have less volume than normal.
- An inability to achieve an erection.
- Experience pain after or during sex.
- Blood in the semen.
- Cloudy urine following an orgasm.