The hormonal control of ejaculation


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Abstract

Hormones regulate all aspects of male reproduction, from sperm production to sexual drive. Although emerging evidence from animal models and small clinical studies in humans clearly point to a role for several hormones in controlling the ejaculatory process, the exact endocrine mechanisms are unclear. Evidence shows that oxytocin is actively involved in regulating orgasm and ejaculation via peripheral, central and spinal mechanisms. Associations between delayed and premature ejaculation with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively, have also been extensively documented. Some models suggest that glucocorticoids are involved in the regulation of the ejaculatory reflex, but corresponding data from human studies are scant. Oestrogens regulate epididymal motility, whereas testosterone can affect the central and peripheral aspects of the ejaculatory process. Overall, the data of the endocrine system in regulating the ejaculatory reflex suggest that widely available endocrine therapies might be effective in treating sexual disorders in these men. Indeed, substantial evidence has documented that treatments of thyroid diseases are able to improve some ejaculatory difficulties.

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