Retrograde Ejaculation

Definition of Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde EjaculationRetrograde ejaculation is also known as dry ejaculation. It is defined as ejaculation backwards into the bladder. This occurs when the bladder neck fails to close and semen passes through the bladder neck into the bladder rather than out through the urethra.

This is an uncommon condition, but it is also harmless.

Absence of ejaculation can occur in men with retrograde ejaculation, but also in men with anejaculation retrograde ejaculation. In order to distinguish between the two, a urine sample is taken soon after sexual climax and the analysis checks for sperm in the urine. If sperm is found the diagnosis is retrograde ejaculation and if sperm is not found the diagnosis is anejaculation.

Contributing Factors of Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation can be caused by:

  • Damage to the bladder neck or its nerve supply
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Trans-urethral resection of prostate (TURP)
  • Pelvic cancer surgery
  • Spinal cord lesions
  • Some medications

Treatment for Retrograde Ejaculation

This condition is difficult to treat, but most men with this condition do not need treatment. The most important message is that it is not a sign of a serious illness.

Treatment options might be:

  1. Pre-op semen harvesting/cryopreservation
  2. Bladder neck reconstruction
  3. Pharmacological treatments e.g. imipramine/pseudo-ephedrine

Please contact your GP or urologist for appropriate treatment advice. Men who wish to start a family may need to contact a fertility specialist, if the cause of the problem is not reversible.


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