If you don’t ejaculate with as much force as you used to, it’s likely because you’re growing older. Just as age weakens your muscles and changes your eyesight, it can reduce both the strength and volume of your ejaculation.
Every ejaculation releases semen from your body through your penis. The process happens in two stages:
- During the first stage, called emission, semen (sperm-containing fluid) collects in the urethral bulb at the base of your penis.
- During the second stage, called expulsion, muscles around your urethra squeeze to push the semen out through your penis.
A problem in the first stage of this process can reduce the amount of semen you ejaculate. A problem with the second stage can reduce the force with which semen is expelled.
Weak ejaculation is largely subjective, meaning it’s often noticed by the person. Orgasm intensity varies from man to man. Though ejaculation may feel weaker than normal to you, it may not be a problem unless it impacts your enjoyment of sex. A weaker orgasm may not feel as satisfying as a stronger one.
A bigger issue is if you ejaculate less fluid or sperm. This can be a problem if you plan to have children. Other common age-related problems are trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction) or having an orgasm (anorgasmia).
Sexual problems can be hard to discuss, even with your doctor. Yet being open about what’s happening can help you find a solution and prevent weak ejaculation from affecting your sex life.
Any condition that affects the muscles and nerves controlling ejaculation can lead to a weaker-than-normal orgasm.
Weakened pelvic muscles
Age takes its toll on the muscles that push semen out of your body. When these muscles weaken, the force of your ejaculation can decline.
Low hormone levels
A satisfying sex life relies on male hormones called androgens. As you get older, levels of these hormones decline. A significant drop in levels can lead to weaker orgasms.
Each time you ejaculate, semen travels down your urethra and out through your penis. A valve acts like a gate between your bladder and urethra. It prevents semen from getting into your bladder.
If this valve stays open, semen can travel back into your bladder instead of flowing out of your penis. This condition is called retrograde ejaculation. Your orgasms may be weak or completely dry.
Causes of retrograde ejaculation include:
- surgery to treat prostate or testicular cancer, an enlarged prostate gland, or a weak urine stream
- drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, high blood pressure, and depression
- nerve damage caused by diseases like multiple sclerosis or diabetes
- spinal cord injury
Perceived ejaculate volume reduction (PEVR) means you release less semen than you once did. PEVR is a common type of ejaculatory dysfunction in men.
PEVR can be a side effect of treatment for cancer and other conditions. Or it may be a sign of a problem with male hormone production. PEVR typically occurs alongside other problems with ejaculation and erection.
Low ejaculate volume has been linked to these conditions:
- radiation of the prostate gland for cancer
- medications used to treat an enlarged prostate gland, high blood pressure, and depression
- problem with the testes that leads to low or no male hormone production
How your doctor treats weak ejaculation depends on what caused it. A few drugs can help treat retrograde ejaculation by keeping your bladder closed while you ejaculate. These can include:
- brompheniramine (Veltane)
- chlorpheneriamine (Chlor-Trimeton)
- ephedrine (Akovaz)
- pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
- imipramine (Tofranil)
- midodrine (ProAmatine, Orvaten)
If an alpha blocker or other drug you’re taking causes weak ejaculation, ask your doctor if you can switch to another medication. If you have diabetes, getting it under the best control possible can also help.
To strengthen the muscles that help you ejaculate, you can try Kegel exercises. During these exercises, you squeeze and release the muscles you use to control urination. One small study showed an improvement in premature ejaculation following 12 weeks of pelvic floor muscle training, including Kegel exercises.
A few supplements have been promoted for treating weak ejaculation. However, there’s no evidence these products work. And because many herbal supplements can cause side effects, don’t take anything without first asking your doctor.
A normal sperm count is between 15 million to more than 200 million sperm in each milliliter (ml) of semen. Your doctor will diagnose you with a low sperm count if you have less than 15 million sperm per ml of semen, or you release less than 39 million sperm each time you ejaculate.
Having a low sperm count can reduce your odds of conceiving a child. Here are a few tips to help boost your sperm count.
- Get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Research finds that men who get too little or too much sleep, or who go to bed late, have lower sperm counts and less healthy sperm than those who routinely get enough sleep.
- Exercise — but not too intensely. Being overweight can reduce both the quantity and quality of your sperm. Exercise may improve semen quality by altering hormone levels. Just limit long-term intense physical training, which may actually reduce your sperm count and quality.
- Don’t smoke. In addition to causing cancer and heart disease, smoking affects sperm counts and quality. Talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program, or consider using an app to help you quit for good.
- Get more antioxidants like vitamins C and E, selenium, and lycopene in your diet. These natural plant substances may protect cells — including sperm — from damage. In one study, higher levels of antioxidants in semen were found in men who had higher sperm counts.
- Eat fewer trans fats. High levels of these unhealthy fats, which are often found in fried foods and unhealthy baked goods, have been linked to a lower sperm count.
If these methods don’t work, a doctor may prescribe medication to help increase your sperm count. A variety of hormonal treatments like clomiphene citrate (Serophene) and follitropin alfa lyophilisate (Gonal-f) may be used to treat this problem.
However, while many of these treatments are approved for women, use by men is considered “off-label.” That is, although they may be effective for the treatment of male infertility, these medications aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this use. If your doctor recommends off-label use of one of these medications, it’s important to take that medication under their supervision. Learn more about off-label medication use.
It can be difficult to talk about sexual problems with your doctor. But only by having this conversation can you get help with ejaculation issues.
See your doctor if:
- Your ejaculations are weak or contain less fluid than usual.
- You can’t get an erection.
- You have pain during or after sex.
- There’s blood in your semen.
- Your urine is cloudy after you orgasm.
Problems with ejaculation are common in men, particularly as they age. If your sexual function has changed in any way, see a doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.