Ejaculatory duct obstruction is blockages in the tubes that carry sperm, reducing sperm count leading to fertility problems
The tubes that sperm travel along are delicate and can be blocked by injury, infection, cancer or surgery.
If a sperm was the size of a man, it would have to travel along more than 12 miles of pipes before it left the man’s body. That’s a lot of pipes, so perhaps it’s no surprise that sometimes they get a blockage. The medical term for this is Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction.

It is common for men to have an ejaculatory duct obstruction without even knowing it. This is because the man will often still ejaculate fluid, so everything appears normal. However, the fluid may contain little or no sperm if they get blocked on route.

On this page I will tell you what an ejaculatory duct obstruction is, what can cause it and what symptoms you might have. Finally, I tell you what you can do about it if you have a blocked sperm duct.


What is an Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction?

Normally when a man ejaculates, sperm travels from the testicles along a series of delicate tubes, called the ejaculatory ducts, to mix with semen (the fluid that protects and feeds the sperm). The sperm and semen mix is then ejected out through the penis during orgasm.

An ejaculatory duct obstruction is where there is a blockage or inflammation of the tubes which the sperm travel along. This blockage prevents some or all of the sperm mixing with the semen and from being ejaculated out of the penis. With little or no sperm in the semen, you cannot fertilise the woman’s egg.


What Are the Chances of Having an Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction?

Ejaculatory duct obstructions are one of the more common causes of male infertility. However, you have a far greater chance of having a blocked sperm duct if you have experienced one of the following:

Common Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction Causes

  • Injury. A serious groin injury can sometimes damage the delicate tubes that transport the sperm
  • Infection. Some diseases can cause inflammation of the groin and other problems that block the tubes (this includes but isn’t limited to STDs)
  • Surgery. If you’ve had surgery on your groin, the cuts or resulting scarring can sometimes cause damage to the delicate tubes
  • Cancer. If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to have experienced cancer on or near the genitals, the cancerous growth could have damaged your ejaculatory tubes. Likewise, any treatment you may have received for testicular cancer could have damaged the tubes
  • Birth Defect. You have had a birth defect that affects your groin or the area around it (sometimes this is difficult to know without an examination by a doctor)


Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction Symptoms

There are often no obvious signs that a man is suffering from a blocked sperm duct. This is because he will often ejaculate the fluid semen, but there is no way of knowing if it contains sperm or not without testing.

If you have experienced one of the common ejaculatory duct obstruction causes listed above, then book an appointment to see your doctor and ask for a Semen Analysis Test. You can find out what this test involves and how to interpret the results in the section: Semen Analysis Test

If you aren’t producing anything when you orgasm, then you may be experiencing Retrograde Ejaculation. This is also known as a “dry orgasm” and you can find out more about that in the section: Retrograde Ejaculation


Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction Treatment

The good news is that most cases of ejaculatory duct obstruction can be fixed by either minor surgery or in the case of infections; antibiotics. If these techniques do not solve the problem, then fertility treatment that involves taking the sperm directly from the testicles can often help couples get pregnant.


Problems Associated with Ejaculatory Duct Obstruction

Unfortunately, ejaculatory duct obstructions are often connected to other conditions. If you have or think you might have an ejaculatory duct obstruction, then you may also want to read up on the following conditions that can be related:

Autoimmune Response to Sperm

A blocked sperm duct may cause your body’s immune system to have a reaction to your own sperm. For more information on this, please check out the section: Autoimmune Response to Sperm

Infections and Diseases

One of the more common causes of a blocked sperm duct is an infection. This could be an infection that inflames the groin, or a sexually transmitted disease. Left untreated these conditions may cause additional problems and even permanent infertility. For more information on them, check out the sections: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and Non-STD Infections that Affect Fertility


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