A dry orgasm can occur as a result of surgery to remove the prostate gland and surrounding lymph nodes (radical prostatectomy) or surgery to remove the bladder (cystectomy). After either of these procedures, a man will no longer produce semen. Dry orgasm can occur after some surgeries for testicular cancer, such as retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, which can affect the nerves that control orgasm.
In some cases of dry orgasm, semen is produced but goes into the bladder instead of out through the penis during sexual climax. This is known as retrograde ejaculation and is most often a consequence of medical procedures, particularly some prostate surgeries. It can also be caused by certain medications and health conditions.
In other cases of dry orgasm, men don't produce enough semen to ejaculate because of genetic abnormalities of the reproductive system.
Repeated orgasms use up all of the body's fresh semen and sperm. As a result, an orgasm that occurs after repeated orgasms might be dry. This is not a cause for alarm and generally improves after a few hours of rest.
Underlying causes of dry orgasm include:
Bladder removal surgery (cystectomy)
- Blocked sperm duct (ejaculatory duct obstruction)
- Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, enlarged prostate and mood disorders
- Genetic abnormalities of the reproductive system
Male hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency)
- Open prostatectomy
Prostate laser surgery
- Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection
Spinal cord injury
TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate)
TUMT (transurethral microwave therapy)
TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)
Jan. 12, 2018
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Wein AJ, et al., eds. Disorders of male orgasm and ejaculation. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 29, 2017.
- Cancer can affect a man's ability to ejaculate. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/physical-side-effects/fertility-and-sexual-side-effects/sexuality-for-men-with-cancer/ejaculation-and-treatment.html. Accessed May 29, 2017.
- What can cause premature, delayed or dry orgasms? National Health Service. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/causes-of-ejaculation-problems.aspx. Accessed May 29, 2017.
- Rowland D, et al. Disorders of orgasm and ejaculation in men. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2010;7:1668.
- Cunningham GR, et al. Overview of male sexual dysfunction. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 29, 2017.
- Frey A, et al. Prevalence and predicting factors for commonly neglected sexual side effects to external-beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2017;14:558.
- Hoffman RM, et al. Microwave thermotherapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004135.pub3/abstract. Accessed May 29, 2017.