World Journal of Urology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 76–81 | Cite as

Retarded ejaculation in men: an overview of psychological and neurobiological insights

  • Marcel D. WaldingerEmail author
  • Dave H. Schweitzer
Topic Paper


Disorders of orgasm and ejaculation are erroneously mixed up in the DSM-IV classification system. Male Orgasmic Disorder to denote “delayed ejaculation” is inadequate as orgasm and ejaculation represent clinical expressions of different neurobiological phenomena. Unfortunately, the DSM-IV criteria for delayed ejaculation were accepted regardless of any research with appropriate methodology and design. The psychological approach and associated psychotherapy to solve this problem is rather disappointing. The neurobiological approach, which started with animal studies, has demonstrated various neurotransmitters with the potency to inhibit ejaculation. Indeed, several experimental drugs have been tested in rats, showing the successful acceleration of ejaculation. We propose that human research should start with the development of an operational definition of delayed ejaculation. To achieve this goal, we propose unselected epidemiological stopwatch studies which also provide information on the prevalence and incidence of delayed ejaculation in men. Currently, no effective and safe drugs are available to accelerate ejaculation time in men. The best way to treat lifelong delayed ejaculation is, thus far, to inform the patients about biological and psychological inhibiting factors which they need to avoid, and to remain critical about unrealistic expectations from psychotherapy. Psychotherapy may be useful in subgroups, particularly in the absence of effective and safe drugs.


Delayed ejaculation Serotonin Epidemiology DSM-IV 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and NeurosexologyLeyenburg Haga HospitalThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychopharmacologyUtrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences and Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine and EndocrinologyReinier de Graaf Groep Hospital

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