Definition

What is retrograde ejaculation?

Retrograde ejaculation is a disorder which causes the semen enters the bladder instead of emerging through the penis during orgasm. Although you still reach sexual climax, you might ejaculate very little or no semen. This is sometimes called a dry orgasm.

Retrograde ejaculation isn’t harmful, but it can cause male infertility. Treatment for retrograde ejaculation is generally only needed to restore fertility.

How common is retrograde ejaculation?

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of retrograde ejaculation?

The common symptoms of this condition are:

  • Orgasms in which you ejaculate very little or no semen out of your penis (dry orgasms)
  • Urine that is cloudy after orgasm because it contains semen
  • Inability to get a woman pregnant (male infertility)

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above orhave any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes retrograde ejaculation?

Damage from surgery to the muscles of the bladder, or to the nerves that control these muscles. Some surgery can cause retrograde ejaculation including:

  • Prostate surgery. Men who have had a transurethral prostatectomy (removal of prostate tissue through the urethra) have a 10-15 % chance of retrograde ejaculation. A prostatectomy (surgery to remove the entire prostate gland, either for cancer or benign enlargement) results in a higher risk of retrograde ejaculation after the procedure.
  • Surgery on certain parts of the bladder
  • Extensive pelvic surgery, especially to treat cancer of the prostate, testicles, colon or rectum
  • Staging surgery for cancer in the pelvis or lower abdomen (this surgery removes lymph nodes in the pelvis and lower abdomen to help determine how far cancer has spread)
  • Certain types of surgery on the discs and vertebrae of the lower spine

Nerve damage caused by medical illness. This is especially common in men with multiple sclerosis or with long-term, poorly controlled diabetes.

Side effects of medication. Medications that may cause retrograde ejaculation include drugs to treat:

  • Prostate enlargemen
  • Especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Psychosis

Risk factors

What increases my risk for retrograde ejaculation?

There are many risk factors for retrograde ejaculation, such as:

  • You have diabetes or multiple sclerosis
  • You’ve had prostate or bladder surgery
  • You take certain drugs for high blood pressure or a mood disorder
  • You had a spinal cord injury

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is retrograde ejaculation diagnosed?

  • First, your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and your history condition or medication which you have used.
  • Do a physical exam, which will likely include an exam of your penis, testicles and rectum.
  • Examine your urine for the presence of semen after you have an orgasm. This procedure is usually done at the doctor’s office. Your doctor will ask you to empty your bladder, masturbate to climax and then provide a urine sample for laboratory analysis. If a high volume of sperm is found in your urine, you have retrograde ejaculation.

How is retrograde ejaculation treated?

Retrograde ejaculation typically doesn’t require treatment unless it interferes with fertility. In such cases, treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Medications

Drugs to treat retrograde ejaculation are drugs primarily used to treat other conditions, including:

  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Midodrine
  • Chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton, others) and brompheniramine (Veltane, others)
  • Ephedrine (Akovaz, others), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, others) and phenylephrine (Vazculep, others)

These medications help keep the bladder neck muscle closed during ejaculation. While they’re often an effective treatment for retrograde ejaculation, medications can cause side effects or adverse reactions with other medications such as: high blood pressure, increased heart rate,…

Infertility treatment

If you have retrograde ejaculation, the most concerned problem is need treatment to get your female partner pregnant. In order to achieve a pregnancy, you need to ejaculate enough semen to carry your sperm into your partner’s vagina and into her uterus.

In cases of retrograde ejaculation, three of the more commonly used assisted fertilization procedures are:

  • Intrauterine insemination (using a small catheter to put washed sperm inside your partner’s uterus at the time of ovulation)
  • In-vitro fertilization (incubating eggs and sperm together in the laboratory to produce fertilization)
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (injecting a single sperm into your partner’s egg to cause fertilization)

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage retrograde ejaculation?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with retrograde ejaculation:

  • Maintaining good blood sugar control in diabetic men may be helpful in preventing the development of this condition.
  • Avoiding drugs that cause retrograde ejaculation will prevent the condition developing as a result of their use.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 5, 2017 | Last Modified: September 5, 2017

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