What Is Retrograde Ejaculation?
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Ms Miriam is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, who completed her training and licencing from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), and has experience in working with patients in areas of adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addiction medicine, neuropsychology and family & marital therapy.
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Updated on 03 November, 2023
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Retrograde ejaculation is a medical condition where semen, instead of being expelled through the penis during ejaculation, flows backwards into the bladder. This happens when the bladder neck muscle fails to close during orgasm, allowing semen to enter the bladder instead of being ejaculated through the penis. Retrograde ejaculation is also known as dry orgasm since there is no semen that comes out of the penis during orgasm/ejaculation.
This condition is relatively rare and often occurs as a result of certain medical conditions or treatments. Retrograde ejaculation can affect a man’s fertility, but it does not typically cause any serious health concerns.
Causes of Retrograde Ejaculation
Retrograde ejaculation can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Medications: Certain medications used to treat high blood pressure, prostate enlargement, and depression can cause retrograde ejaculation. Medications that affect the muscle that controls the bladder neck can cause semen to flow backward into the bladder instead of out of the penis.
Surgery: Some surgeries that affect the prostate or bladder can cause retrograde ejaculation. This includes prostate surgery, bladder surgery, and urethral surgery.
Nerve damage: Nerve damage that affects the nerves that control ejaculation can cause retrograde ejaculation. This can occur as a result of spinal cord injury, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions that affect the nerves.
Congenital conditions: In rare cases, retrograde ejaculation may be caused by congenital conditions that affect the structure or function of the reproductive system.
Symptoms of Retrograde Ejaculation
The main symptom of retrograde ejaculation is the absence of semen during ejaculation. This can cause infertility, but it does not typically cause any other health problems. Some men may notice cloudy urine after ejaculation, which is a sign that semen has entered the bladder.
Diagnosis of Retrograde Ejaculation
If you are experiencing retrograde ejaculation, your doctor will perform a physical examination (genital examination) and take a medical history. They may also order tests to determine the cause of the condition. These tests may include:
Urine analysis: A urine sample can be analyzed for the presence of semen after ejaculation.Advertisements
Post-ejaculation urinalysis: This test involves urinating into a cup immediately after ejaculation to check for the presence of semen in the urine.
Sperm count: A sperm count can be performed to determine if retrograde ejaculation is affecting a man’s fertility.
Ultrasound: An ultrasound can be used to check the structure and function of the bladder and prostate.
Treatment of Retrograde Ejaculation
The treatment of retrograde ejaculation depends on the underlying cause. If retrograde ejaculation is caused by medication, your doctor may recommend switching to a different medication. If the condition is caused by surgery, the doctor may recommend nerve-sparing surgical techniques to reduce the risk of nerve damage.
If retrograde ejaculation is affecting a man’s fertility, there are several treatments that can help. These include:
Fertility drugs: Fertility drugs can stimulate the production of semen and improve the chances of conceiving.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI): During an IUI, semen is collected and inserted directly into the uterus to increase the chances of fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (IVF): During IVF, eggs are removed from the woman’s ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted in the uterus.
Electroejaculation: This procedure involves using electrical stimulation to induce ejaculation. It can be used to collect semen for use in fertility treatments.
While retrograde ejaculation can affect a man’s ability to father a child, it typically does not cause erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is a separate condition in which a man has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.
However, some medical conditions or treatments that can cause retrograde ejaculation, such as diabetes or surgery on the prostate, may also contribute to ED. Therefore, if you’re experiencing retrograde ejaculation or ED, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment options.