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Anejaculation is a type of ejaculatory disorder that affects a man’s ability to release semen when they reach climax during sexual activity. When a man has anejaculation, it means he is unable to excrete semen when they are participating in sexual activity. 

In a normal situation, a man would release semen from the tip of their penis when they reach climax. With anejaculation, the man will notice that no semen comes out during the climax point. 

It should be noted that anejaculation does not always affect a man’s ability to experience pleasure when they have an orgasm. A large number of men still experience this pleasure but cannot ejaculate semen. 

Anejaculation is generally classified into two different categories. It is important to understand the two categories, as this affects the potential treatments and the underlying factors that need to be taken into consideration. 


The symptoms that are associated with anejaculation are often divided into two major groups. A healthcare provider will often initiate the diagnosis and treatment process by first considering in which of these two categories the symptoms of the man falls. 

  • Situational anejaculation: Situational anejaculation is when a man can ejaculate in some situations but not in others. Frequently, this type of anejaculation is caused by stress in situations such as being in the fertility clinic where some men become tense when they know they have to give a semen sample “on demand.” Additionally, if a man can ejaculate during intercourse but cannot ejaculate through masturbation (or vice versa) then this is considered situational.
  • Total anejaculation: Total anejaculation is when a man is never able to ejaculate semen either during intercourse or by masturbation, at home or in the clinic. Total anejaculation also can be divided into:
    • Anorgasmic anejaculation – a man who can never achieve an orgasm while awake, but may or may not be able to reach orgasm, and ejaculation, while asleep. In these cases, psychological factors rather than physical ones are likely causing the condition.
    • Orgasmic anejaculation – a man can reach and achieve orgasm but cannot ejaculate semen. This failure to release semen can be due to a block in the tubes or damage to the nerves, or possibly due to retrograde ejaculation where semen is going backwards into the bladder rather than leaving the penis through its tip.

Anejaculation and anorgasmia can also be classified as primary or secondary.  Primary anejaculation/anorgasmia is when ejaculation/orgasm has never been experienced in a man’s entire lifetime and secondary anejaculation/anorgasmia is when a man is unable to ejaculate/orgasm after he has been experiencing normal sexual functioning.


In cases where retrograde ejaculation has been ruled out (see section on retrograde ejaculation), anejaculation occurs when the prostate and seminal ducts fail to release semen into the urethra.  This problem can be due to several causes:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Conditions that affect the nervous system (such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, spina bifida, etc.)
  • Traumatic injury or infection to the pelvis/groin area
  • Surgical treatment for testicular cancer or other cancers requiring the removal of lymph nodes located in the groin
  • Surgeries that may cause damage to the pelvic area (such as prostate, bladder or abdominal surgery that can damage or traumatize nerves)
  • Medications such as alpha blockers that are commonly used to treat urinary symptoms