Author: Dr. Aparna Vishwakiran, Senior Consultant & Fertility Specialist
Male infertility is a rising health concern. Many factors cause fertility issues among men. One less spoken factor is ejaculation issues or ejaculatory dysfunction.
Ejaculatory dysfunction is a common condition in men. Ejaculation-related infertility is one of the most serious issues in younger individuals due to changing lifestyles and environmental patterns. Ejaculation disorders are harmless and are considered a problem only when a couple wants to have a baby. Ejaculation issues could delay a pregnancy even if there are no issues with sperm quality or number. Psychological issues, emotional trauma, or medical conditions could lead to ejaculation issues.
It is important to know that certain ejaculatory issues do not necessarily cause infertility but a few conditions like retrograde ejaculation make it difficult to conceive.
Types of ejaculation disorders:
1. Premature Ejaculation:
Also referred to as rapid ejaculation or early ejaculation is a condition wherein a male ejaculates too soon during sexual activity. PE affects nearly 5-40% of men and is the most prevalent condition among sexually active men.
Causes for premature ejaculation include relationship problems, anxiety, depression, thyroid dysfunction, abnormal hormone levels, hereditary, Infection of the prostate or urethra, etc.
2. Delayed Ejaculation:
Delayed ejaculation also called as impaired ejaculation or male orgasmic disorder, is a condition wherein a male has difficulty in reaching climax or is unable to ejaculate even after a prolonged period of stimulation.
3. Retrograde Ejaculation:
Retrograde ejaculation is another common reason for male infertility.
It is defined as a condition in which a male reaches climax but does not release any semen or even if they do, only a small amount of semen is ejaculated. This occurs due to the semen flowing back into the bladder rather than being released out of the body.
An individual with RE might experience a dry orgasm. (Dry orgasm: An individual can experience an orgasm but an ejaculate is absent).
The absolute absence of ejaculation in men is called as anejaculation. Medications, nervous system-related conditions, and issues in the bladder, neck, and urethral could be a reason for anejaculation. In a few circumstances, anejaculation is situational, a person cannot ejaculate in certain situations.
Treatment and Management:
Ejaculation disorders can be managed and treated depending on the type of issue. Sometimes identifying the reasons or triggers can help in resolving ejaculation issues.
Treatment options include medications, behavioral therapy, reproductive therapy, etc.
For addressing fertility challenges due to ejaculation issues, fertility treatments like IVF, IUI, and ICSI can be of great help. Surgical interventions like sperm retrieval procedures can also help with infertility.
Ejaculation issues are more common than we imagine. Awareness about ejaculation issues is important, especially due to the social stigma associated with it. They do not cause any harm to the overall health of an individual but are a reason for concern when one is planning for a pregnancy. Assisted reproductive technologies can help with the fertility issues that arise due to ejaculation disorders.