Causes of Infertility: Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation is one of the many causes of infertility. This happens when a male ejaculates and the semen does not come out of the urethra. The semen is released, but it is redirected the other way into the urinary bladder. This is a result of the sphincter not working properly. When it is functioning properly, the sphincter will contract before a male has an orgasm, thus pushing the semen out through the urethra. If the semen is directed into the bladder instead of out the urethra, it then makes it hard for a couple to achieve pregnancy due to the lack of semen. Many men who suffer from this describe it as having "dry orgasms". This can make sex for a man less enjoyable.

Causes of Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation can be caused by a malfunctioning bladder sphincter. This can be caused by improper functioning of the auto tunic nervous system in the prostate. The semen does not come out of the urethra, but it is pushed back up into the bladder. It can also be caused if the male has underwent a lymph node dissection due to testicular cancer. In some cases, the bladder sphincter can be damaged in the process of dissection. Retrograde ejaculation can be a side effect of certain medications that are used to relax the bladder muscles. It can also be a complication due to diabetes.


It can be fairly simple to diagnosis this condition. The doctor will perform a urinalysis after the man has ejaculated. This will confirm if there are sperm found in the urine.


Treatments are available for retrograde ejaculation. Usually, the first step in treating this is to try medications. These medications help the bladder sphincter to function properly. They usually only help in the mild cases. The medications often used are Tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines and decongestants.

There are downsides to taking these medications for this condition. The medicine needs to be taken 1 or 2 hours before ejaculation takes place. This can take the romance out of intercourse, but when trying to conceive, many people are willing to do whatever it takes.

Surgery is another treatment option. Surgery is only considered if the medications do not help. The results of surgery are not always predictable. In some cases it will help, but in others it does not. In some men, the damage due to the bladder neck is permanent. The doctor will not be able to tell if surgery will work until they get in there to fix it.

Another way for a couple to conceive a child is to extract the semen from the urine. The semen is then inserted directly into the woman's uterus. This has helped many couples in conceiving a child.

Retrograde ejaculation can be very frustrating for many couples trying to conceive a child. If you think your man has this problem, it is best to talk to your doctor about it. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, the better the chances are of treatment.

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