Sometimes I have difficulty ejaculating, or when I do, no semen comes out. Why is this happening?

The “difficulty” described regarding a lack of ejaculatory fluid may be a condition called “ejaculatory incompetence” (please note this term is from the professional literature and does NOT imply any incompetence on the part of the male experiencing the problem!). Ejaculatory incompetence is defined as a male’s evident inability to ejaculate, even with the presence of an erection and sexual arousal. Another possibility is a condition called “partial ejaculatory incompetence,” which results in a “half” orgasm – that is, slight seepage of semen without true orgasmic sensations (caused by pelvic muscle contractions). Partial ejaculatory incompetence is relatively common for males and is often related to fatigue or a state of stress in the man’s life.

If there are satisfying orgasms without ejaculation, however, there could be a deeper physiological (biological) cause. One possible culprit is the phenomenon called “retrograde ejaculation,” in which semen enters the bladder upon ejaculation instead of going out through the penis. With retrograde ejaculation, the sphincter muscle that typically blocks off the opening to the bladder does not function properly, allowing all or part of the semen to travel up into the bladder instead of through the tip of the penis. If this is occurring, urine may appear cloudy after sexual climax. The presence of semen in the bladder is harmless. In some cases, though, retrograde ejaculation can cause infertility, so it is important to speak with a doctor to determine the actual underlying cause of ejaculatory difficulty.