Spontaneous ejaculation occurs when ejaculation occurs without genital stimulation. The first type of spontaneous ejaculation is the nocturnal emission or wet dream. It is perfectly normal and healthy for sexually inactive men to have wet dreams on a regular basis. Even men who are sexually active may experience wet dreams from time to time when the body needs to relieve the glands of excess sexual fluids. Wet dreams are thought to be caused by signals from full sexual glands as well as signals from the central nervous system (erotic or even stressful dreams).
The second type of spontaneous ejaculation occurs while a man is awake. This seems to occur when the ejaculation centers of the spine are tricked into triggering ejaculation either through stimulation from the prostate or central nervous system. The prostate is highly innervated and connected to the ejaculatory centers of the spinal cord. Stimulation by a full prostate gland is most likely one of the reasons wet dreams occur. However, ejaculation has also been known to occur when the prostate is touched or pressed and the man is not sexually stimulated. In this case, it is thought that the pressure can be interpreted as an overly full gland that requires emptying.
Another cause has been reported on more than one occasion during gym workouts. The prostate sits in the pelvic floor and is affected by pressure in the lower abdominal cavity and even swept by certain pelvic floor muscle groups. Men have reported suddenly ejaculating when performing such exercises as leg curls, abdominal crunches, and other exercises affecting the lower abdomen, pelvis, and upper legs. Again, when this does occur, usually the man is not sexually stimulated and won’t even have an erection when he ejaculates. Some men who have had this occur report that there was little to no “warning” that ejaculation would occur until seconds before ejaculating.
High levels of central nervous stimulation can also trigger spontaneous ejaculation. Reports of spontaneous ejaculation have coincided with high levels of pain or stress (such as ejaculating during a car accident or bout of severe sharp pain). Ejaculation can also occur through excessive mental stimulation that is sexual in nature (such as pornography or making out). While high stress situations or simply viewing pornography may seem like an insufficient reason to ejaculate, most men report that when they have a wet dream they are either dreaming about sexual things or stressful things.
Isolated incidences of spontaneous ejaculation typically do not warrant a visit to a healthcare provider. However, if such an event occurs repeatedly, it may be a symptom of something else going on such as an anxiety disorder, prostatitis, or prostatic congestion. Any condition that could interfere with normal wet dream frequency (which varies from one man to the next) may be a cause of spontaneous ejaculation while awake as well. In these men, simply getting an erection can cause ejaculation to occur even if physical stimulation of the erect penis has not occurred.
Treatment is typically not necessary. There is nothing “dangerous” about spontaneous ejaculation, but it can be extremely inconvenient for a man to ejaculate without warning. This can create issues with inability to a change of underwear and clean up when not at home, or even worse, having it occur in a public place (like the gym) with a semen volume that is large enough to soak through the clothing and be visible to others. Avoidance of triggers (certain gym exercises, prolonged make out sessions, pornography viewing, etc.) can help prevent spontaneous ejaculations. For men who are sexually active, increasing the number of ejaculations can help keep the reproductive glands less full and thus prevent repeated episodes of spontaneous ejaculation.
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