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Is stress causing you to ejaculate later than usual?

Man feel stressed out

If you are forced to stop because of fatigue, loss of erection or even a request by your partner, it may be high time you seek help for delayed ejaculation. 

Stress is a normal part of life. In certain circumstances, it can even serve a useful purpose - it motivates people to work hard and achieve success, particularly at work.

However, if you fail to get a handle on your stress and turn it into chronic stress, it can ultimately take a toll on your life and health – particularly your sex life. Research shows that more than half of Singaporean men say that they fight with close friends and loved ones because of stress, and more than 80%1 agree that they experience significant emotional as well as physical symptoms from stress.

These side effects range from hair loss to sexual performance problems, such as delayed ejaculation

Let’s explore how stress affects ejaculation, symptoms to look out for and what you can do to help with delayed ejaculation. 

How does stress affect our body?

When you are stressed, your body goes through a series of changes in a bid to prepare you accordingly. This is referred to as your flight or fight response. When you are in this situation, you will ultimately experience a dramatic surge in heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure in which non-essential body functions such as sex drive are substantially diminished.

Physiological effects of stress 

Physiologically, stress will trigger the release of a number of hormones, including epinephrine and cortisol, which when released at relatively high levels can potentially reduce an individual's libido.

In addition, when stress is chronic, your body uses sex hormones to meet the increased demands for somewhat higher production of cortisol, ultimately minimizing your libido.

Psychological effects of stress 

Stress can potentially force you to have a busy and somewhat frazzled mind, distracting you in the process. Stress can also impair your mood, resulting in depression and anxiety – two conditions that can significantly diminish your libido. 

Physical effects of stress

Stress often results in unhealthy practices or habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, overeating as well as poor lifestyle choices such as a sedentary lifestyle. These lifestyle shifts can influence your overall health and interfere with your sex life.

What is delayed ejaculation?

Also referred to as impaired ejaculation, delayed ejaculation is simply a condition in which it takes a relatively extended period of time for a man to attain climax and ejaculate. It is also worth noting that some men with this particular condition are unable to ejaculate at all

As mentioned, delayed ejaculation can have numerous potential triggers or causes, including depression, anxiety, neuropathy as well as reactions to certain medications. While this particular condition usually doesn't pose serious medical problems, it can be a great source of stress and may affect your personal relationships. 

Guy feeling stressed out

What are the associated symptoms of delayed ejaculation?

It is imperative to note that it is usually normal for a man to experience delayed ejaculation from time to time, and delayed ejaculation is only an issue if it is ongoing or results in stress for you as well as your partner.

Unlike premature ejaculation, which has distinct classifications based on time, delayed ejaculation has no specific time. Hence, we usually present a diagnosis for delayed ejaculation if the delay results in: 

  • Frustration 
  • Stress 
  • You being forced to stop because of fatigue, loss of erection, physical irritation or a request from your partner 

Delayed ejaculation can be classified into two based on the symptoms experienced.

Lifelong vs Acquired

In lifelong delayed ejaculation, the problem starts at the time of sexual maturity. On the other hand, with acquired delayed ejaculation, the problem happens after a particular period of normal sexual functioning.

Situational vs Generalized

Situational delayed ejaculation only happens under specific circumstances. On the other hand, generalized delayed ejaculation is not limited to certain types of stimulation.

The above categories are often used by doctors to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your delayed ejaculation as well as determine the most practical and effective treatment plan. On rare occasions, delayed ejaculation is a sign of an existing medical condition, including diabetes and heart disease!

How is delayed ejaculation treated in Singapore?

Because delayed ejaculation can be caused by several factors and can also be a sign of an underlying health problem, proper and accurate diagnosis is essential. A detailed physical examination coupled with an explanation of your symptoms is critical to help make an initial diagnosis. 

If a chronic problem is suspected as the potential cause, I will need to conduct more testing, including urine and blood tests. These tests will look for hormonal imbalances, infections, among other potential causes. I may also examine and evaluate the reaction of your penis to a vibrator2 to show if the issue is physical or psychological.

If you have experienced the problem for a relatively long period, examining if you have a structural birth defect might be helpful. However, it is imperative to note that currently, there are no drugs that are specifically approved for this type of sexual dysfunction. Medications used to treat this condition are primarily used to treat other medical conditions.

Besides medication, psychological counseling or psychotherapy can also help address any underlying mental problems that might be impacting your ability to ejaculate, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

In most instances, delayed ejaculation is never a huge health concern. However, if your delayed ejaculation is straining your relationship or causing mental health concerns, it is high time you seek immediate assistance from your doctor.

Also, you should openly communicate with your partner regarding your condition. Treatment is usually relatively more successful if you and your partner work together as a team.


  1. Abdel-Hamid, I. A., & Ali, O. I. (2018). Delayed Ejaculation: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. The world journal of men's health, 36(1), 22–40. https://doi.org/10.5534/wjmh.17051
  2. Cong, R., Zhang, Q., Wang, Y., Meng, X., Wang, Z., & Song, N. (2019). Two cases of psychogenic anejaculation patients got normal ejaculation ability after penile vibratory stimulation or electroejaculation. Translational andrology and urology, 8(6), 758–761. https://doi.org/10.21037/tau.2019.10.11 

This article was written and medically reviewed by Dr Ben, M.D on 12/01/21

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