Retrograde ejaculation

Definition

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen goes backward into the bladder. Normally, it moves forward and out of the penis through the urethra during ejaculation.

Causes

Retrograde ejaculation is uncommon. It most often occurs when the opening of the bladder (bladder neck) does not close. This causes semen to go backward into the bladder rather than forward out of the penis.

Retrograde ejaculation may be caused by:

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

A urinalysis that is taken soon after ejaculation will show a large amount of sperm in the urine.

Treatment

Your health care provider may recommend that you stop taking any medicines that may cause retrograde ejaculation. This can make the problem go away.

Retrograde ejaculation that is caused by diabetes or surgery may be treated with drugs such as pseudoephedrine or imipramine.

Outlook (Prognosis)

If the problem is caused by a medicine, normal ejaculation will often come back after the drug is stopped. Retrograde ejaculation caused by surgery or diabetes often can't be corrected. This is most often not a problem unless you are trying to conceive. Some men do not like how it feels and seek treatment. Otherwise, there is no need for treatment.

Possible Complications

The condition may cause infertility. However, semen can often be removed from the bladder and used during assistive reproductive techniques.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you are worried about this problem or are having trouble conceiving a child.

Prevention

To avoid this condition:


Review Date: 1/31/2019
Reviewed By: Sovrin M. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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