Dry orgasm happens when you reach sexual climax but your penis doesn't release semen. Or it releases very little semen. Semen is the thick, white fluid that carries sperm. When it comes out of the penis, it's called an ejaculation.
Dry orgasm usually isn't harmful. But it can lower the chances that you'll be able to get your partner pregnant if you try to have a baby.
Over time, many people who have dry orgasms say they get used to the way a dry orgasm feels. Some say their orgasms feel weaker than in the past. Others say the feeling is stronger.
A dry orgasm can have different causes.
It could happen after surgery. For example, you stop making semen after surgery to remove the prostate gland and the lymph nodes around it. Your body also stops making semen after surgery to remove the bladder. Dry orgasm can happen after some surgeries for testicular cancer too. Those include retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, which can affect the nerves that control orgasm.
Sometimes with dry orgasm, your body makes semen, but it goes into your bladder instead of out through your penis. This is called retrograde ejaculation. Most often it happens after medical treatments, especially some prostate surgeries. Certain medicines and health conditions also can cause it.
In other cases, the body doesn't make enough semen to ejaculate. This might happen when gene changes affect the organs and glands involved in having children.
Repeated orgasms use up all of the body's fresh semen and sperm. So if you have several orgasms over a short time, your next one might be dry. There's no need to worry though. This tends to improve after a few hours of rest.
Conditions that can cause dry orgasm
Dry orgasm may happen with certain health conditions:
- Blocked sperm duct (ejaculatory duct obstruction)
- Genetic problems with the reproductive system
- Male hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Spinal cord injury
Dry orgasm also can be a side effect of some medicines used to treat certain conditions. These include some medicines for high blood pressure, enlarged prostate and mood disorders.
Procedures that can cause dry orgasm
You may have dry orgasm after certain medical treatments or operations:
- Bladder removal surgery (cystectomy)
- Prostate laser surgery
- Prostatectomy (radical)
- Radiation therapy
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
- TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate)
- TUMT (transurethral microwave therapy)
- TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)
When to see a doctor
In most cases, dry orgasm isn't harmful. But talk to your health care provider about it. You might have a treatable health condition that's causing it. If you have dry orgasms and you're trying to have a child, you might need treatment to get your partner pregnant.
Last Updated Nov 30, 2022