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Retarded Ejaculation

Sometimes when a man is with a partner he may find himself unable to ejaculate, and this inability to orgasm inside the vagina can cause considerable distress to both people.

It is not a common difficulty but should not be regarded as abnormal or strange behaviour. As a rule the man can ejaculate with masturbation in the absence of his partner, or with erotic dreams, having nocturnal emissions ... so there is no underlying organic disease.

The condition is known as retarded ejaculation and tends to become worse if the man gets upset with himself or his partner, and if, because of his anger tries to apportion blame for what he sees as failure.

Such men have usually no problem with getting or keeping erections, and a first may be quite proud about their ability to keep a “hard on”.

However, if intercourse if prolonged it may result in the woman experiencing discomfort which is likely to lead to a decrease in her lubrication, which may be followed by vaginal soreness. Inflammation of the vaginal lining (mucosa) disturbs the bacteria which normally live in the woman’s front passage (the commonest of these is one called the lacto bacillus acidophilis) which produces the lactic acid that maintains the acidity of the vaginal secretions, which is a strong defense against thrush (monilla) infection. Lack of this acidity may result in the woman developing an itchy discharge.

Retarded ejaculation is essentially a psychological problem, and is treated by changing behaviour patterns. If possible the cause of the problem should be identified before treatment is begun.

Sometimes the man may be angry or resentful, either towards women in general, or his partner in particular, and as a consequence he holds himself back, and does not allow the release of his sperm to take place. If the root of the problem can be found, this should be dealt with before trying to change behaviour, but sometimes this is not possible because one cannot put one’s finger on a particular cause, and when this happens one treats the problem by a process of systematic desensitisation.

It is usual in such a program to make use of the ability many men have to masturbate, but the are times when for religious or other reasons this is not possible. In these cases therapy tends to be far slower and take much longer. Occasionally, there are underlying organic problems which need medication, or other more complex treatment but such difficulties are exceedingly rare.

Under stress, ejaculatory problems are quite common, which is well illustrated by the difficulty that is often seen when infertile men are asked to collect semen specimens for a sperm count.

Some men similarly may have difficulty in urinating when there are others waiting.

Control of urination or ejaculation, is complex and works through the so-called autonomic nervous systems which work quite automatically and need to be accurately co-ordinated, but this happens without us having any direct or conscious control. Because of this complexity there is no reason for a man to feel ashamed or embarrassed if he has such a problem. Most counsellors have seen similar problems before and will be helpful and supportive.

If retarded ejaculation is your particular problem consult your general practitioner, who will either treat you or refer you to a sex therapist or counsellor, who may be either another medical practitioner, a psychologist or a sex therapist who is not medically qualified but comes from some other discipline or background. Remember that help is available and seek assistance soon.

- Ageing - AIDS
- Anorgasmia - Barrier Methods of Contraception
- Frigidity - Genital Herpes
- Impotence - Loss of Libido
- Masturbation - Miscarriage
- Post Natal Depression - Pregnancy
- Premature Ejaculation - Retarded Ejaculation
- Sex and Disability - Sexual Activity during and after Pregnancy
- Smoking and Pregnancy - Stretch Marks in Pregnancy
- Syphilis and Gonorrhoea - Termination (Abortion)
- The I.U.D. (or Intra Uterine Device) - The Pill (Oral Contraceptive Pill or OCP)
- The Rhythm Method of Birth Control
or Natural Family Planning
- Tubal Ligation
- Vasectomy - What is Normal??

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