Penile vibratory stimulation and electroejaculation in the treatment of ejaculatory dysfunction

Int J Androl. 2002 Dec;25(6):324-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2002.00378.x.


The purpose of this review is to present the current understanding of penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) and electroejaculation (EEJ) procedures and its clinical use in men with ejaculatory dysfunction. Unfortunately, the record of treating such individuals has been quite poor, but within recent years development and refinement of PVS and EEJ in men with spinal cord injury (SCI) has significantly enhanced the prospects for treatment of ejaculatory dysfunction. The majority of spinal cord injured men are not able to produce antegrade ejaculation by masturbation or sexual stimulation. However, approximately 80% of all spinal cord injured men with an intact ejaculatory reflex arc (above T10) can obtain antegrade ejaculation with PVS. Electroejaculation may be successful in obtaining ejaculate from men with all types of SCI, including men who do not have major components of the ejaculatory reflex arc. Because vibratory stimulation is very simple in use, non-invasive, it does not require anaesthesia and is preferred by the patients when compared with EEJ, PVS is recommended to be the first choice of treatment in spinal cord injured men. Furthermore, EEJ has been successfully used to induce ejaculation in men with multiple sclerosis and diabetic neuropathy. Any other conditions which affect the ejaculatory mechanism of the central and/or peripheral nervous system including surgical nerve injury may be treated successfully with EEJ. Finally, for sperm retrieval and sperm cryopreservation before intensive anticancer therapy in pubertal boys, PVS and EEJ have been successfully performed in patients who failed to obtain ejaculation by masturbation. Nearly all data concerning semen characteristics in men with ejaculatory dysfuntion originate from spinal cord injured men. Semen analyses demonstrate low sperm motility rates in the majority of spinal cord injured men. The data give evidence of a decline in spermatogenesis and motility of ejaculated spermatozoa shortly after (few weeks) an acute SCI. Furthermore, it is suggested that some factors in the seminal plasma and/or disordered storage of spermatozoa in the seminal vesicles are mainly responsible for the impaired semen profiles in men with chronic SCI. Home insemination with semen obtained by penile vibratory and introduced intravaginally in order to achieve successful pregnancies may be an option for some spinal cord injured men and their partners. The majority of men will further enhance their fertility potential when using either penile vibratory or EEJ combined with assisted reproduction techniques such as intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ejaculation*
  • Electric Stimulation / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Stimulation* / methods
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy*
  • Touch
  • Vibration / therapeutic use