What Should I Do About Weak Ejaculation?

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I am 52; my health is good; I go to the gym five times a week; and I'm 5 feet 7 inches tall and 160 pounds. I do not know the medical term for this, but here's the story: A short time ago, I noticed that when I cum, it barely shoots out. I remember a time, not long ago, when it would shoot a few feet. Is there a way to get that back?

In Laymen's Terms

Thanks for your email. For those of us not practicing medicine, medical terms are only really helpful if they actually help. This means most of the time they are decidedly unhelpful. You did a good job describing your situation without the help of any medical terms, but we may add a few, just for the sake of discussion. 

First, it's likely that the weak ejaculation you are experiencing is a part of aging. Problems with erections and ejaculation (in medical terms, erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory dysfunction respectively) can be an early warning sign of something else that's happening in your body—even if you're in good health and have no other physical complaints. It's worth scheduling a complete physical with your doctor if you notice something's changed with either your erections or your ejaculation.

But before we discuss remedying the situation, let's get on the same page in terms of what actually happens before you "shoot." The physiology of ejaculation is something that scientists are forever learning more about, but, generally speaking, ejaculation occurs in two stages: 1) emission, and 2) expulsion. In the emission stage, fluids—which originate in both the testes and the sex glands—combine and move into place to make up the semen (fluid that is then ejaculated). The expulsion stage is when the semen is expelled or "shot" through the urethra and out of your body by muscle contractions.

Quality, Quantity, or Both?

It's hard to best qualify or quantify the expulsion stage. Should we measure how far the ejaculate goes? Is it about ejaculation force, pressure, or the speed at which semen moves through the urethra or through the air? And when you feel yourself ejaculating, what are you actually feeling? Is it the muscle contractions of the orgasm? Are you aware of the fluid moving its way through your urethra? And if you feel like you have weak ejaculation, what exactly is contributing to this perception?

Researchers who study erectile dysfunction consider the force of the ejaculate to be an element of perceived satisfaction. But no one has researched, over time, the strength of ejaculation and how it relates to the distance the semen travel. The truth is: Most men probably don't know how far their ejaculate travels because it's stopped by a body part, a towel, or something else before it reaches its final destination. So it may be less important to know how far your ejaculate goes, and more important to pay attention to how strong or weak your ejaculation feels to you.

There's plenty of research on semen volume, however—resulting in a lot of information, and misinformation, about the ways to increase it. It's well documented that men who experience erectile dysfunction (and all aging men, in general) perceive they are ejaculating less. The medical term for this is perceived ejaculate volume reduction or PEVR. Certain medications and medical conditions are associated with PEVR. Lower urinary tract symptoms or dysfunction can also result in a reduction in ejaculate volume. And sometimes less semen just comes out—not because your body is making less, but because the semen flows into the bladder instead of being expelled out of the body (a response known as retrograde ejaculation).

What Can You Do?

Start by talking with your doctor about your weak ejaculation and get a complete physical. 

And while it hasn't been proven scientifically, it's possible that stronger pubococcygeal (PC) muscles will contribute to "shooting" a further distance. So do your Kegel exercises to strengthen those muscles. It just may help.

It's also possible that this just happens with age. As we get older, we can't work the same amount of hours, we can't run as far, and maybe we can't ejaculate as far, either. So then the question is whether you can adapt. If the perception that you ejaculated with a certain force or to a certain distance before was, indeed, a key part of your sexual pleasure, are you open to finding new ways to experience that same feeling?