Refractory Period: What It Is, Average Duration & How to Shorten It

Refractory Period What It Is Average Duration How to Shorten It

For most men, getting the penis erect right after achieving an orgasm is nearly impossible. It can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you’re with a partner who’s very eager to go at it again.

Why does that keep happening?

Well, it has to do with your refractory period. In this post, you’ll learn what that is, how long it lasts, and what you can do to shorten its duration.

Familiarizing yourself with the male refractory period will help you better understand your body. And when you do, you’ll know to push it to its limit so you can have a more pleasurable sex life.

What Is the Refractory Period?

First, let’s talk about what it’s not. The refractory period isn’t a form of sexual dysfunction. It comes with sexual performance in men. There’s no need to panic just because your penis isn’t rising up to the challenge after you ejaculate.

The refractory period is what experts refer to as the resolution stage. This is when the male body recovers from all the excitement from all the sex you’ve just had. Your penis will become flaccid as the body experiences muscle contractions and releases hormones.


It’s your body’s way of telling you to settle down for a bit so that it has time to recover.

And for the most part, that’s fine. Men lose their sexual desire anyway when they’re in the refractory period. It takes time for the sexual response cycle to go back to normal.

However, the refractory period can leave men with sexual function issues like premature ejaculation feeling apprehensive. If they ejaculate too early, they’re leaving their partners hanging. So their instinct is to try to bounce back as quickly as they can.

But the bad news is that there’s no way to get rid of the refractory period — not even through sexual stimulation.

There’s a perception in the medical community that women don’t have a refractory period because they can have multiple orgasms. It’s either that or they have a shorter refractory period.

Men just aren’t built the same way.

And experts are still trying to understand why. An experiment on rats yielded no definitive answer as to why it happens. Another study can’t definitively tie the refractory period to premature ejaculation either.

So what can you do if your refractory period bothers you?

You need to understand how long it lasts and how you might be able to shorten it to make your body recover faster after sex.

How Long Does the Refractory Period Usually Last?

how long refractory period usually lasts

Knowing how long the refractory period lasts will help you manage your expectations.

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer. How long the refractory period lasts will be different from person to person.

In some cases, it only lasts a couple of minutes which is why it’s as big of a problem for some men. But the issue can last hours or even days for others which can be concerning.

There are several factors that affect how long the refractory period lasts:

  • Age
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Sexual Health

Let’s break these down.

Age is one of the most significant factors. In your teens, your refractory period would only last minutes. However, men would start to feel their refractory period getting longer as they grow older. At this stage, it can take you 30 minutes to an hour to get back to action.

You’ll start feeling the most significant changes as far as the recovery period goes once you hit your 40s.

But remember, everyone is different. Just because you’ve hit a certain age doesn’t mean your refractory period will get longer.

This is especially true if you don’t have overall health issues — especially with your cardiovascular health. If your physical health is good, then recovery shouldn’t be a problem. Being in good condition also means managing chronic illnesses like diabetes and having normal blood pressure.

Your mental health also affects refractory periods. Some feel sad or depressed after sex which can prolong recovery and sexual arousal. It can even affect sexual satisfaction. It’s best to talk to a professional if you feel like your mental state is to blame for your long refractory period.

If you have a condition that affects your sexual function like premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, consult a professional to see what can be done about it. This can undermine your confidence in bed. Talking to an ED expert can alleviate some of your concerns.

How Can You Shorten the Refractory Period?

If you’re thinking about a sexual medicine that can deal with the refractory period, then no.

There’s no drug designed specifically for that problem.

Although, some erectile dysfunction drugs can have that effect because they’re designed to increase blood flow to the penis.

But as mentioned earlier, having great physical health leads to a reduced refractory period. So the best thing you could do is diet and exercise. You want to keep your weight down.

Target your cardiovascular system. Walking or running exercises can lead to improved refractory periods.

Even if you don’t have issues with your refractory period, you want to keep your cardiovascular health in check. The World Health Organization says 17.9 million lives are lost each year to cardiovascular diseases.

If you think you’re going to have sex later in the day and you know it takes you a long time to recover after an orgasm, you might want to skip out on masturbation beforehand. This works for some people so it’s worth trying.

Alcohol can affect male sexual function. You might want to refrain from drinking if you’re going to have sex later in the day.

In summary, you can do these things:

  1. Keep your cardio up
  2. Eat healthy
  3. Avoid masturbating
  4. Stop drinking

Talk to your partner about it. You should take your partner’s thoughts and feelings into consideration too.

Learn More About Sexual Health and Refractory Period at Priority Men’s Medical Center

Learn More About Sexual Health and Refractory Period at Priority Men’s Medical Center

The refractory period is a normal response of your body after getting an orgasm. It may take you a while before you’re sexually aroused well enough to get another erection.

Only a handful of men are multiorgasmic anyway — less than 10% for those in their 20s and 7% for those in their 30s according to one study.

Depending on several factors, it can take you several minutes to days before you get to have sex again.

But if you stay in good cardiovascular shape and eat better, you can reduce the time it takes for your body to recover.

If you want to learn more about your refractory period or ED treatments in general, contact the medical professionals at Atlanta’s Priority Men’s Medical Center. There you can learn about all the latest treatments available for having a great sex life including those for erectile dysfunction premature ejaculation, low testosterone levels, and much more. Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.

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