Delayed Ejaculation: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

World J Mens Health. 2018 Jan;36(1):22-40. doi: 10.5534/wjmh.17051.


Delayed ejaculation (DE) is a poorly defined and uncommon form of male sexual dysfunction, characterized by a marked delay in ejaculation or an inability to achieve ejaculation. It is often quite concerning to patients and their partners, and sometimes frustrates couples' attempts to conceive. This article aims to review the pathophysiology of DE and anejaculation (AE), to explore our current understanding of the diagnosis, and to present the treatment options for this condition. Electronic databases were searched from 1966 to October 2017, including PubMed (MEDLINE) and Embase. We combined "delayed ejaculation," "retarded ejaculation," "inhibited ejaculation," or "anejaculation" as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms or keywords with "epidemiology," "etiology," "pathophysiology," "clinical assessment," "diagnosis," or "treatment." Relevant sexual medicine textbooks were searched as well. The literature suggests that the pathophysiology of DE/AE is multifactorial, including both organic and psychosocial factors. Despite the many publications on this condition, the exact pathogenesis is not yet known. There is currently no single gold standard for diagnosing DE/AE, as operationalized criteria do not exist. The history is the key to the diagnosis. Treatment should be cause-specific. There are many approaches to treatment planning, including various psychological interventions, pharmacotherapy, and specific treatments for infertile men. An approved form of drug therapy does not exist. A number of approaches can be employed for infertile men, including the collection of nocturnal emissions, prostatic massage, prostatic urethra catheterization, penile vibratory stimulation, probe electroejaculation, sperm retrieval by aspiration from either the vas deferens or the epididymis, and testicular sperm extraction.

Keywords: Anejaculation; Delayed ejaculation; Diagnosis; Physiopathology; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review