No orgasm = UTI?

Dear Alice,

You've said that there is no medical concern if a man goes without orgasm for up to a year. Well, I have NEVER had a wet dream in my life, and if I don't have regular ejaculations, I get prostate and/or urinary infections! It's been this way for quite a few years. Going without orgasm seems to cause a build-up of seminal fluid that goes nowhere. Is this common?


Dear Stuffed-up, 

Talk about a pain! Experiencing frequent prostate or urinary infections (commonly referred to as urinary tract infections or UTIs) certainly is no fun. There are many reasons why a person with a prostate may have difficulty with having an orgasm — substance use, medications, stress, desensitization, or trauma. However, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that points to any medical concerns if a person with a prostate goes without orgasming for a long period of time. In fact, sperm that isn’t ejaculated either gets reabsorbed into the body or is passed out of the body when you pee. It’s possible that other factors could be contributing to your prostate infections or UTIs. If you’re concerned about any infections you develop, especially if they’re frequent or painful, you may consider speaking with a health care provider about your experiences.  

It may be helpful to explore how UTIs or prostate infections develop and how to prevent and treat them. UTIs are bacterial infections (such as E. coli and other organisms from your bowels) that infect the parts of your body responsible for passing urine, which include the kidneys, the bladder, and the urethra (the hole out of which you pee). Although UTIs are more frequent for folks with vaginas due to the proximity of the urethra to the anus, it’s not uncommon for people with penises to experience UTIs. Some common causes of UTIs for people with penises are kidney stones and an enlarged prostate, both of which may cause pee droplets to stay in the urethra after urination and cause infection. You’re also more likely to develop a UTI if you have diabetes, are uncircumcised, and have anal sex without a condom. If you think you have a UTI, you might want to speak with a health care provider so you can complete a urine test and receive antibiotics for treatment. 

Prostate infections, or prostatitis, are another type of infection caused by bacteria. It's worth mentioning that prostatitis isn't a sexually transmitted infection (STI) — it’s very rarely passed on through penetrative sex. Prostatitis is characterized by a swollen prostate, which may make it feel more painful or tender. Some people with prostatitis experience pain during ejaculation. Similar to UTIs, speaking with a health care provider is recommended for treatment, especially if you’re experiencing pelvic pain and difficulty with peeing or ejaculation. 

There are steps you may consider taking to reduce your risk of developing a UTI or prostatitis — although having an orgasm isn't one of them. For example, you could: 

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water may help you pee more frequently and keep your urinary tract fresh. 
  • When you have to go, go! Avoid holding your pee for too long, as this encourages bacteria to build up in your urinary tract. 
  • Keep it fresh. Be sure to use soap and water to clean the area on a regular basis. 
  • Pee after sex. Especially if you put your penis into someone’s anus! Peeing after sex helps flush out any bacteria that may have built up during intercourse. 

Stuffed-up, it’s possible that your prostate infections and UTIs may be contributing to your orgasm irregularity, not the other way around. Although there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing infections, you may find it helpful to speak with a health care provider to assess your own experiences, especially if it’s been going on for a few years. 

Hope you find this helpful! 

Last updated Oct 15, 2021
Originally published Feb 09, 1996

Submit a new comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

The answer you entered for the CAPTCHA was not correct.