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IASH India: Institute of Andrology & Sexual Health India
Refractory Period in Men and Women: What and How?

What is the Refractory Period?

The refractory period is the time frame that starts after the last sexual climax and being sexually aroused again. Which is known as the “resolution” stage. Sexual activity is performed under 4 stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and restoration.

The time duration between the last ejaculation and the next erection is called the refractory period, it is for both men and women. The phase may extend for a second, a few minutes, a few hours, or days. The women’s resolution period is bleak and they can bounce back again whereas men take some time to settle down and be normal.

The length of refractory periods varies among men, dependent on their physical and mental health. It is though not related to the testosterone level. We can improve the refractory time period with expert help and a healthy lifestyle. Women have almost no refractory period and thus can have multiple orgasms. Women can have multiple orgasms while men cannot. Women’s refractory period is shorter than compared to men’s.

What is a Refractory Period?

The time taken in settling down and getting prepared for the next level of action is known as the refractory period. A human nervous system experiences 4 different moods while involved in sexual activity. Initially, there is an adrenaline rush and excitement. This moment enhances the blood flow in the penile region, making the penis harder.

Following this is the plateau stage when excitement is at its highest. Here male urethral sphincters avoid mixing semen with urine or retrograde ejaculation. This is also the phase where the penis stops being flaccid and rises closer to the human body.

If the plateau phase does not result in orgasm, it can lead to sexual frustration. The orgasm is the phase where both partners experience the highest amount of pleasure for a short period. During this phase, a good amount of oxytocin hormone is secreted from the brain. This then stimulates the happy hormone of dopamine and serotonin. Because of these chemical reactions, you feel like floating on the 7th cloud after a successful session with your partner.

But every action has a reaction. And the resultant reaction after orgasm is resolution. During this stage, the prolactin hormone also rises because of high dopamine and serotonin. Prolactin hormones affect the sexual drive in men making them feel low on sexual pleasure. The resolution stage is absorbing the excitement. Allowing the body to relax and return to its normal state. When men go into the refractory periods, he doesn’t get sexually stimulated easily. He is not so keen on performing any sexual activity.

What is happening during the Refractory Period?

During the refractory period, man’s mind and body are trying to be in sync. It is scientifically proven that sexual activity is a psychological phenomenon. After orgasm male peripheral nervous system gets involved in releasing hormones like procaine, prostaglandins, and somatostatin. These hormones relax the mind, and body and affect your thinking and execution process. Many fall asleep quickly after sex can be perhaps because of this reason.

But some on the other hand bounce back and allow themselves to experience another round of excitement. Their control over the mind and body help them do so. They show the willingness and strength to feel the high voltage pleasure even when the body is working to maintain calmness.

Absolute Refractory Period or Relative Refractory Period

Absolute Refractory Period or Relative Refractory Period

The refractory period occurs due to a blocked sodium channel(Na). When the body’s sodium channel becomes completely inactive, then it cannot be stimulated in any way. In such cases, a man will not be able to feel any sensation and is never sexually aroused. This period is called the absolute resolution period.

On the other hand, when sodium channels are momentarily closed and can be opened again by super threshold we call it a relative resolution period.

What is the normal Refractory period?

  • The normal refractory period varies from person to person. It depends on overall health, libido, and diet.
  • The normal refractory period for young men can vary from 5 sec to 15 min.
  • The normal refractory period for old men can vary from 2 hours to 24 hours.
  • Normal refractory periods for women may be for a few seconds that might go unnoticed.

The refractory period is also a state of mind. It also depends upon what you are thinking. The other factor affecting the refractory periods are:

  • How much do you feel for the other Person?
  • How keen are you on having sexual pleasure?
  • Have you been smoking or drinking heavily?
  • Are you circumcised?
  • Are you on any kind of medication?
  • How much stress are you feeling?

Refractory Period after Masturbation?

According to a study, MRP(Male Refractory Period ) sustains for a long period from normal intercourse as compared to masturbation. Physical relation with a partner is more satisfying psychologically because its roots are deeper and last longer. It is also said that prolactin released after masturbation is 400 times less than that released after intercourse.

Change in Refractory Period with Age

Sexual function and desire naturally decline with age. With increasing age, it takes longer to get physically & psychologically for people to be aroused. It also improves recovery time after sex which means a longer refractory period.
The refractory period of a person also depends upon the refractory period they had when they were younger. If a Man had a long refractory period in his 20s, then he may find that his Refractory period is getting longer with age.

When the Refractory Period is a problem?

For many, this resolution period is time to relax, cuddle talk, or even sleep. This refractory period is best utilized to recharge again. But if the refractory period lasts for too long or you are facing an absolute refractory phase, then it is time you talk with a sex expert.

We at IASH, Jaipur know that a long Refractory period could lead to more complex problems. Professional help to improve the refractory period is necessary for building a strong relationship and bringing back pleasurable sex time. And that’s why we try every possible way to treat all problems linked with ED with the best treatments in the whole city. We take care of all sorts of sexual problems like Erectile Dysfunction, wet dreams, low libido, male infertility, delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation, varicoceles, and many penis problems.

Factors That Affect the Refractory Period?

Doctors and healthcare experts understand how the sexual health of humans works through various studies and research. However, When it comes to the factors that affect the Refractory Period, they are not clear about it. Still, some factors often emerge as the major players influencing the Refractory Period.

  • Age: It is directly related to the age of a person to the post-orgasm recovery time. Younger men recover faster after sex, and older men need time to recover after sex.
  • Cardiovascular health: Your cardiovascular health is also a significant factor that impacts the refractory period of men. Bad cardiovascular health means bad blood circulation and erection issues in men, which increases your recovery time after sex.
  • Arousal Issue: Arousal is the most important factor that affects refractory time. The longer a man takes to get aroused longer it will take him to recover from sex.

The time you should visit a sexologist

  • If the long refractory period doesn’t match your partner’s demand and is affecting your relationship
  • If women crave sexual pleasure all the time
  • If men cannot get an erection while stimulation.
  • If men suffer from retrograde ejaculation.

Treatment to Improve the Refractory Period

Refractory periods depend on relationship status, psychological health, and physical health. Since we assume every person is different we consider 2-3 options to help the patient to improve the refractory period.

  • Couple Therapy

    IASH Jaipur provides marriage therapy in Jaipur. In therapy, a therapist helps the couple to improve the quality of communication in an authentic way and also helps connect, hear, and understand each other much better which in turn leads to building a healthy and loving relationship once again.
    The duration of marriage counseling in Jaipur depends on the basic cause of long-stretched

    refractory periods. This therapy helps couples to understand each other’s expectations and even open up about

    their emotions. As per experience in IASH Jaipur, For most couples improvements are noticeable after 3-5 sessions.

  • Psychotherapy

    Psychotherapy is a general term for treating psychological well-being issues by conversing with a therapist, clinician, or another emotional wellness provider. During psychotherapy, you find out about your condition and your mindsets, sentiments, contemplations, and practices. Psychotherapy encourages you to figure out how to assume responsibility for your life and react to testing circumstances with solid adapting abilities.
    There are numerous kinds of psychotherapy, each with its own methodology. The kind of psychotherapy that is directly for you relies upon your individual circumstance.

  • Medicines

    There is no approved medicine to improve the refractory period, but IASH can help you with some health supplements to balance your hormonal level.

Important Tips to Improve the Refractory Period

  • Avoid Masturbating:

    If you want to enjoy sexual intimacy with your partner stop playing solo. Give your body time to restore. This will help you in getting high arousal and will also help to lower your refractory period.

  • Changing Schedules:

    Try doing it in the morning or once a week for a change. Breaking the pattern and changing the schedule may help to improve the refractory period.

  • Being innovative:

    Try being innovative in bed and try a new position. Trying something new can help to want more excitement and can reduce refractory periods. Restarting with a roleplay can also help in quick arousal.

  • Know your erogenous zones:

    Every human has its own sensational zones, which help them in quick arousal. Identify them and convey them to your partner for quick arousal after restoration.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle:

    Practice pelvic floor exercises and Kegel exercises to maintain an erection for a long duration. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle will improve the sexual functioning of the body.

  • Avoid drinking and Smoking:

    Too much drinking and smoking create hormonal imbalances in the human body. Especially drinking or smoking before being close to the partner can spoil the performance.

  • Healthy Food diet plan:

    Eating aphrodisiac food items like coffee, garlic, coconut, and

    watermelon, can help to increase sex drive. A Mediterranean diet is also considered to help

    with erectile dysfunction.

The Takeaway of the Blog

The refractory period is normal and it can last as long as both partners are not complaining. A long Refractory period doesn’t cause any side effects on health, and so does a short refractory period. It is wise to consider the resolution period as natural behavior while making love. Sexual activity is a natural phenomenon, and it goes with our biological clock. Giving time to the body for restoring mental and physical energy will certainly help in better sexual health. If you are young and cannot jump back to action even after long hours then you should visit IASH for consultation with the Best Sexologist in Delhi & India.

Frequently Asked Question

Q1. How many times a man can release the sperm in a day?

Some men can ejaculate (or come) once or twice a day, whereas some guys can do it four or five times. How many times you can ejaculate in a day depends on several factors, including the refractory period.

Q2. What happens if you hold your sperm for too long?

No evidence suggests blocking sperm can cause harm or negative side effects. Unejaculated sperm is not harmful to the body and does not build up. The body reabsorbs sperm that does not leave through ejaculation. This has no side effects on sex drive or fertility.

Q3. What is the difference between the male and female refractory period?

The normal refractory period for young men can vary from 5 sec to 15 min. The normal refractory period for old men can vary from 2 hours to 24 hours. Normal refractory periods for women may be for a few seconds that might go unnoticed.

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