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What Are the Causes of Delayed Ejaculation?

By Elizabeth Wolfenden ; Updated August 14, 2017

Men with delayed ejaculation often are only able to ejaculate with great effort and sometimes cannot ejaculate at all. This condition can be embarrassing for a man and frustrating for his partner. However, this condition is highly treatable. In fact, the National Institutes in Health notes that 70 to 80 percent of men who obtain treatment for delayed ejaculation are successful. Determining the cause of the delayed ejaculation is the first step in fixing the problem.


Many causes of delayed ejaculation are psychological. Anxiety disorders, depression, addiction or simply the inability to deal with everyday stress may cause the condition. Cultural or religious taboos can also be to blame. For example, men who grew up learning that sex was sinful, or those with strict religious beliefs may not be able to fully enjoy the act of sexual intercourse and may experience delayed ejaculation. Fear of pregnancy or disease can also render a man unable to ejaculate. Additionally, relationship problems may also contribute to this condition, including underlying resentment or anger towards a partner, lack of attraction for a partner, feeling judged or criticized, and infidelity issues. Sex therapy, couples or individual counseling, or substance abuse treatment may resolve these psychological issues and fix the ejaculation problem.


The side effects of certain medications may include delayed ejaculation. Medications known for this side effect include most antidepressants, certain high blood pressure medication, some antipsychotic medications and certain diuretics. Men who experience delayed ejaculation should talk to their doctor to see if there is a possibility of adjusting the dosage or switching to another medication. Men experiencing delayed ejaculation should avoid alcohol and drugs, as may also cause ejaculation problems.

Physical Causes

Although delayed ejaculation often involves psychological issues, sometimes a physical problem is to blame. Diabetes, neurological disorders, heart and vascular disease, hormonal imbalances, kidney or liver failure and spinal cord injuries are some medical conditions known to cause delayed ejaculation. Men with these conditions should mention that they are experiencing delayed ejaculation when discussing treatment options with a doctor. Some men find that treating the underlying condition also treats the symptom of delayed ejaculation.

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