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Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Retrograde ejaculation

Definition

Retrograde ejaculation refers to the entry of semen into the bladder instead of going out through the urethra during ejaculation.

Alternative Names

Ejaculation retrograde

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Retrograde ejaculation may be caused by prior prostate or urethral surgery, diabetes, some medications, including some drugs used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and some mood-altering drugs. The main reason is that the bladder neck does not close off so semen goes backwards into the bladder rather than forward out of the penis.

The condition is relatively uncommon and may occur either partially or completely. The presence of semen in the bladder is harmless. It mixes with the urine and leaves the body with normal urination. Men with diabetes and those who have had genitourinary tract surgery are at increased risk of developing the condition.

Symptoms

  • Little or no semen discharged from the urethra in conjunction with the male sexual climax (during ejaculation)
  • Possible infertility
  • Cloudy urine after sexual climax

Signs and tests

A urinalysis performed on a urine specimen that is obtained shortly after ejaculation will reveal a large amount of sperm in the urine.

Treatment

If retrograde ejaculation is caused by drugs, your doctor may recommend that you stop taking such drug. This can make the problem go away.

Retrograde ejaculation caused by diabetes or after genitourinary tract surgery may be treated with epinephrine-like drugs (such as pseudoephedrine or imipramine).

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

If retrograde ejaculation is caused by medications, discontinuation of the medication often restores normal ejaculation. If retrograde ejaculation is caused by surgery or diabetes, it is often not correctable.

Complications

The condition may cause infertility.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you are having difficulty conceiving a child or you are concerned about retrograde ejaculation.

Prevention

Maintaining good blood sugar control may help prevent this condition in men who have diabetes. Avoiding drugs that cause retrograde ejaculation will also prevent this condition.

References

Lipshultz LI, Thomas AJ, Khera M. Surgical management of male infertility. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 20.

Ohl DA, Quallich SA, Sønksen J, Brackett NL, Lynne CM. Anejaculation and retrograde ejaculation. Urol Clin N Am. 2008;35:211–220.

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Review Date: 9/22/2009

Review By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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