A new option for orgasm problems in men

ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. 

When men in steady relationships contemplate their sexual woes, erectile dysfunction (ED) is usually at the top of the list. That’s understandable, since 20 to 30 million American men suffer from ED, and ads for drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis carpet-bomb our consciousness of it in the media.

But there is another problem in the bedroom that men are sometimes reluctant to talk about and doctors are unlikely to ask about. It’s called anorgasmia—the inability to reach a climax during usual sexual activity.

For men with ED, doctors can prescribe any of several effective medications. Not so for those with delayed or nonexistent orgasms. “It’s a tough problem because there just isn’t a lot out there,” says Dr. Michael O’Leary, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a urologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Doctors may now have a new option. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine report that a drug called cabergoline (Dostinex, generic) restored half of men to normal orgasm. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Atlanta.

The prolactin cure

The study grew out of a basic observation, said lead researcher Dr. Tung-Chin Hsieh. When men have an orgasm and ejaculate, the amount of the hormone prolactin in the bloodstream surges. Cabergoline lowers prolactin levels, which is why it’s used to treat pituitary gland tumors that cause an overabundance of the hormone. Hsieh and his colleagues in the Baylor College men’s health clinic started to prescribe cabergoline “off label” to see if reducing prolactin levels in men might cure anorgasmia.

It apparently did. In the very preliminary pilot study presented at the American Urological Association meeting, Hsieh said that 50 of the 72 men in the study (69%) said their orgasms improved after taking 0.5 milligrams of cabergoline twice a week for an average of 10 months. Of the 50 men who said things got better, half (26) said their orgasm function returned to normal.

New option

There are several important caveats to this study: The cabergoline finding is limited to a single clinic, over a relatively short period of time, in a small group of men taking a single medication, in a trial lacking basic controls for random effects. For example, the men involved in the study might have simply recovered their ability to experience orgasms over time for reasons unrelated to taking cabergoline. In addition, the study looked mainly at the possible effectiveness of cabergoline, not the balance of benefits against the possible risks, like the drug’s potential side effects.

On the other hand, treatment of anorgasmia lacks options to such a degree that any news is good news. Dr. O’Leary, for instance, says cabergoline is now on the table for his patients. “It’s a drug we’re familiar with for a relatively rare condition,” he says. “It’s worth a try and unlikely to be harmful.”

Even if future, more detailed studies show that cabergoline isn’t effective for anorgasmia, it’s important that men understand that difficulty reaching orgasm is a legitimate health complaint. “It’s something that men should feel comfortable talking to their doctors about and there are treatment options out there for them,” says Dr. Hsieh.

Related Information: Harvard Men’s Health Watch


  1. Telcan

    I’ve known this to happen to many guys but typically drugs or alcohol were involved.This is one of the awesome posts. I like your blog details.

  2. sumon

    your article is very much effective and informative.nowadays it’s very common problem for men. i am hopeful you will keep sharing more content like this. you deserve this thank you. wish you happy blogging 🙂

  3. Zem Famoleras

    A common problem for men cause by cigarette, alcohol and stress. So serious that may effect couples relationship. Though it takes a real attention to address this problem, take time to relax, go check a boutique hotel that offers spa and other wellness services to revitalize men’s energy. Al tough this problem i believe has something to do do psychologically.

    Great articles!

  4. Andrew

    I’m sort of curious how common this is. I’ve known this to happen to many guys but typically drugs or alcohol were involved. What a frustrating ailment to have.

  5. Adrianne Muff

    Thanks for this kind of information. It is not usually been discussed to the public due to the fact that it’s a very sensitive issue among men.

  6. Samuel Jones j-r

    No any treatment, except of medicine (drug) treatment can be effective for erectile dysfunction – this is a fact. Choosing the best medicine is much more hard than it seems to be, because of biggest wave of advertising that confuse average man. More and more patients choose medicines without regard to personal singularities of their disease and organism. And the study presented at Association meeting is very important from the point of view tips above.

  7. mental health

    Just today I have visited your blog. I have read your article “A new option for orgasm problems in men”. So informative. Will you accept my comments?

  8. Ern

    Does lack of orgasm means lack of ejaculation. Or the two are different things altogether?


  9. Seniors

    Great news ,A new option for orgasm problems in men,before this we have only two or three reason of orgasm problem now the new point will find. we care for this.

  10. Iisa Kenneth

    Maca is a great superfood and some consider Maca to be the America’s equivalent of Chinese Ginseng for hormonal balance in men. Indeed, some natural cures for erectile dysfunction contain Maca.

    The Maca root (or powder) and specifically the purplish-red Maca known as “red Maca” is the rarest variety and the most sought-after.

    The reason for its popularity is that red Maca is said to be a natural aphrodisiac, that it is said to enhance semen counts, and to provide other health benefits for those who

  11. Dr Fox

    Interesting findings, although as stated it is limited to a single clinic and a small number of participants.
    – Dr Fox

  12. Jacqui Olliver

    It takes a great deal of focus for a man to ejaculate and if his conscious mind is focused on anything else but the sexual act, then he loses his ability to co-ordinate the correct sexual response in his body.

    It stands to reason that the men who were taking this new drug became very focused upon the sexual act – which of course resulted in some of them regaining the ability to ejaculate.

Commenting has been closed for this post.